3 Ways to Pivot with a Chronic Illness

I wanted to spend some time discussing a topic that comes with the territory of releasing pain and activating joy: the pivot. Find ways to change, starting with these 3 tips. Know you are not alone and with this blog in particular, I hope to see you feeling the support and love, in joy! Joy & Mindset Coaching is Here! You will find more in my posts to learn the beauty in joy when living with a chronic illness.

When I was a youngster, I LOVED travelling. I looked forward to family road trips and exciting, new experiences with the anticipation of the amazing memories to be made. I had no concept of the time that went into preparation and shuttling around three or four children for every single trip that included me and my siblings. I was simply finding joy in the fun of things.

Latest Trip with Family – The Poconos 2021

By the time I became a young adult, however, it was time for me to be in charge. I had to make the decisions around the ways in which I travelled and where I went. Because I held everything in my hands from that point on, I saw travelling in a new light. Don’t get me wrong, travelling is still an amazing and joyous experience! Still, I have to be mindful of the ways in which it also wears me out and puts a greater responsibility on me. Depending on whether I am planning an experience of excitement and adventure in memories or a period of rest and relaxation, I have to make many specific changes. I must hold and bring forth adaptations to my actions, my expectations, my plans. This, my friends, is one of the many ways in which I have had to pivot in challenging an illness that has been a part of my life for a long time. It has been a force that I also have to reckon with more as an adult.

When It’s Important to Pivot With a Chronic Illness

With a chronic illness – or any painful experience that is imposing in nature -, it is important to remember this one word. It is a word whose experience, whether or not you use the term, will come up often.


If you remember this word and the ways in which it can be used, it will become a part of your joy experience instead of your experience of pain. It can be the way you learn to enjoy your life instead of the way you justify doing, being, and having less in this world.

The 3 Ways to Pivot

Especially as chronic illness warriors, we must understand how strong and effective the pivot really is for those of us who experience pain and loss. Though the pivot is never easy or standard, it is simple and must be practiced with a new understanding; in a new light. Here are three ways I have found to pivot with a relishing for life and less downward spirals:

The next three tips are important in pivoting… to joy

Stop and Clarify

You cannot believe how often I have raced through life (so to speak, as physical movement has been a struggle…) without a simple thought of where I was going. I spent so much time breathing through pain and then trying to make up for lost time that there was no way I was going to actually experience clarity around my direction.

I am still charting my course in many ways, and yet have found the benefit and beauty in taking some time for myself; for my health and mental clarity. As much as I want to move forward fast and with a fervency that makes up for all the months in the hospital and all the years in pain, I have learned that taking a moment actually helps me waste less time than I originally thought. When I stop and think, even writing down what I want to do next in life, or in the day even, I have found something I never saw before then: I saw an understand. I understand more where life can take me and where I can find the joy. Not only that, I understand what joy is to me and when that comes, the pain that hurts most is not allowed in. Pivoting with clarity is one of the most important aspects of charting a new course.

Write Down Specific Goals Related to Your Illness and Life

Whether you are planning a day, a week, or a lifetime, clarity is not enough. Write down your goals and begin to know them forwards and backwards. Find the time to take your clarity of mind and make it even more tangible with a written statement about that specific area of your life or illness and then the surrounding areas of the same.

Writing (recording or speaking too) holds so much weight for me and for others with whom I work. For that reason, it is something that I will forever recommend. Find the best way for your joy to be represented in a pivot and make it the goal for you moving forward.

Clarifying what I wanted to do in travel, for example, dictated my goal and where it would leave me at the end of the trip – exhausted and exhilarated, or relaxed and charged. How do I want to feel at the end of a vacation? How do I find joy instead of pain or regret at this time in my life? Maybe your pivot will be something different, or mean something new for you. In any case, write down the vision and its clear way of making you smile!

Find a Joy-Filling Activity to Swipe the Anxiety and Pain and Move Toward Action

Once I am clear on the feeling and goals for that vision and feeling, I am ready to put it into action! How many times have you found your goals come to fruition without action? Exactly. For me, the issue was not taking the action, it was finding ways to act without clarity or goals behind it. Knowing what you want and then going for it works together for the joy over pain in the moment and beyond. Now, when I know that this will be a tiring trip with memorable experiences, I can prepare for the rest I will need afterwards. When I take action on a more recharging and boosting trip of relaxation, I am ready to come back to my usual life with the passion I want to have every day; for myself, for my life, for the people I serve. Life is not about pain, I’ve realized… it’s about the joy that is on me to build and the ways in which I must pivot to make that happen.

Why Should This Have to Happen Alone?

Joy in the pivot

The pivot to joy from pain is not one that has to be done alone. Knowing you have the strength and capabilities to do this is only half the battle. Yes, you can do it, no, you do not have to do it without accountability or support. My practice is about guiding, supporting, and loving. Pain and the unknown are two experiences that can keep us from the pivot we must make to get to joy. If you thought going it alone was the only way to do things, that is not so, and I would love to be the person who shows you how and why it’s okay to take on the support for your life.

Reach out for a free “steps to discover the love and joy” call! You are your own best advocate and strength; I simply want you to gain the tools to be the joy, see the joy, have the joy that may be hidden at the moment. Next step? Reach out!! I’m here.

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