Because I Have it all Together, and Other Lies I Want You to Believe About Me

When You Don’t Like Someone: I Fell in a Prairie Dog Hole – True Story

When you don’t like someone: when you don't like someone Stacy Pederson funny female motivational inspirational keynote speaker

I fell in a Prairie dog hole.

Some people hurt themselves running marathons, fighting wars, battling blazes, or reaching up to grab a cup off the shelf. Others of us hurt ourselves falling in prairie dog holes.

I was taking my dog Hazel for a walk. Now, I know what you’re thinking:

“Why were you walking out in the open prairie.”

I wasn’t. I was less than one block from my apartment building. I live in annoyingly white suburb that has as much diversity as a typical NFL coaching staff.

Hazel and I were meandering along the sidewalk when I caught a glimpse of another dog and it’s owner ahead. I, doing the correct thing, (since my dog is crazy) stepped off the sidewalk to make way for them and proceeded to fall directly into a prairie dog hole.

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Resilience and My Belly – They Both Bounce Back but Aren’t Exactly Pretty

resilience overcoming stress speaker motivational inspirational virtual Stacy Pederson

I leaped out of bed this morning ready to contribute positive things to this world. Ok. That’s a lie. I hit my alarm for over an hour straight. Then slithered out from under the blankets begrudgingly and trudged all 4,000 miles to the kitchen for a glass of warm water.

 

“I just need to move around”, I thought. I finished laundry. Emptied the dishwasher. Stared out the window a lot. Then made the bed so I wouldn’t crawl back in it.

 

“Focus on others to get you going”, I told myself. I focused on the news. I focused on social media. I focused on how miserable I felt. When I thought, “focus on others” that wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. It was more, “focus on helping others”. That usually gets me perked up.

 

Hours later with an audition still to do and ½ finished script still to write, I’ve not done so great today. I have managed to go to the post office, make a smoothie, and research why your stomach gets so fat in your mid-forties. Followed by googling, “do any men like women with fat stomachs”. (Just as an FYI, don’t google stuff like that. I got a little more then I was requesting….)

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What Are You Doing With Your Personal Freedom???

Reflecting on my Nation’s Birthday.
What are you doing with your personal freedom???
You’ve been given opportunity. What are you doing with it?
Do you want to:
Further Your Education?
Start a Business?
Make Music?
You’ve been given opportunities other don’t have. Use it.
My kids are the first generation born in the USA on their Dad’s side. The first to have access to education, medical care, nutrition, job opportunities and in-door plumbing.
It was great because when my daughter was a teenager complaining about school I would say, “You could be married with three children at the age of 16 spending three hours a day carrying a jug of water on your head.” Why? Because that would have literally been her life.
People come to this country for opportunity and for freedom. Lay the politics aside and ask yourself the hard question, “What have I done with the freedom and opportunity I’ve been given?”
Stacy Pederson is a funny motivational speaker who has almost died a bunch.
Stacy Pederson’s Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/StacyPederson

Great Resignation: How to Keep Your Employees

Does the “Great Resignation” have you concerned about losing your employees?

It’s just my opinion but this is something as an owner, manager, CEO, etc., you may want to consider.

Your employees have been through a lot and they are NOT the same. This one word you may be using is an emotional trigger for them.

 

Stacy Pederson is a funny motivational speaker who has almost died a bunch. Stacy speaks on stress, burnout, happiness and wellness in the workspace.

 

#Keynote #Motivational #Speaker

 

The One Important Lesson 2020 Has Taught Us That Will Change Your Life

2020 has been a year of exhaustion, refocus, more exhaustion, more refocus. Pivoting. Being paralyzed. Stressing. Relaxing. Sleeping more. Stressing more. And frankly wondering what in the heck I’m doing.

In quarantine I’ve been like hamster on a wheel. 1,000% in a cage. Going a hundred miles an hour with nowhere to go. The industry I work in vanished overnight. I found the need to create a new “income stream”. Hence the pivoting, refocus, paralysis….At the end, I’ve accomplished very little.

I “should” have handled it better. After all, I know how to do this. Embrace change. Deal with elements I’m not in control of. Live with the fear of losing a lot. I got this down.

And I do “handle it” considering I’ve been down this road before. With all my lack of grace and competency in 2020, I have remembered and held on to something very important.

The greatest lesson I learned in my past trek of getting sick, almost dying, living in financial straits, having PTSD and struggling with depression (how’s that for a positive sentence) is this:

 

In the abundance of fear, illness, lack of control, and stress, many of us have had to face scarcity for the first time in our lives. Scarcity of toilet paper beginning in March, scarcity of space in our homes, scarcity of jobs, scarcity of time, scarcity of support and scarcity of security/stability.

The tendency to hoard, to hold on, to hide out when things are scarce is a natural reaction. Recognizing the abundance you still have is a way to release some of the fear. Release some of the stress.

Abundance helps you release that tight grasp. Abundance helps you move towards a more open heart. A more open hand to give.

In the old days (pre-2020) we didn’t recognize all that we had. It was almost grotesque how much we took for granted. We walked into grocery store and got whatever we wanted, paid our bills, sent our kids to school while we worked, met with friends, watched sports, ate out on Tuesday…Wednesday…pretty much any day so we didn’t have to cook.

Yet we complained because, with all we had, we were still discontent.

Then came 2020. With it came scarcity. We crammed into our houses and had to look at the people we lived with in the eye. Some for the first time in a long time. We looked at the décor on our walls and the items shoved in the back of our closets. We looked at our emails and the news wondering if our jobs were next. We looked at the food we ate, the shows we watched, and the photos of the people we missed. We took a long hard look at our life.

With the lack of space, time, friendships and freedom we began to learn a very important lesson. A lesson contrary to every success book, every entrepreneur “secrets to being amazing”, every advertisement trying to entice us to buy more. A lesson I learned in a hospital bed.

 

 

Let me repeat that: Life happens in the small.

 

-Homeschooling your kids while you worked and finding that little bit of heaven when nobody bothered you in the bathroom for 10 whole minutes. A small thing that meant so much.

-When loneliness crept in and your dog or cat hopped on your lap and looked you in the eye telling you there’s not just you. With him or her there’s always two.

-When taking a walk in the fresh air and open spaces lifted our butts off the bed and our mood in ways we never noticed before. A small thing that changed our whole day.

-When your paycheck came it held more significance. That job you hated was a lifeline you didn’t know you had.

-The phone or zoom call from family or friends – now took top priority.

-When the holidays came and you remembered eating your Grandma’s meal as a child. A small moment in the grand scheme of your life. But now the memories and the meaning hold such sweet abundance.

-Your health meant more. Having 8 rolls of toilet paper meant more. Watching your kids actually grow in front of your literal eyes. It all means more.

-There’s been abundance in our scarcity. Because we are forced to notice all the things we took for granted and missed.

When you think of the happiest moments of your life-most are in the small. Playing outside with your friends until dark. Driving in the front seat of your dad’s pick-up truck. The first time he or she caught your eye. Playing in the snow. Watching the waves. Getting your first small promotion. Laughing uncontrollably with someone you loved. This is where life happened.  In the small.

In 2020 we’ve been faced with scarcity which has caused us to live in the small. This is where the abundance of real life-the good, the bad, and meaningful- all happens.

My hope is as life moves forward into 2021 and we find ourselves in something new, yet all too familiar, that we each remember the lessons we’ve learned.  For so long we blindly believed the lie that more is always better. Bigger house, better job, more money, better body. Push harder. Be more. Do more.

 

May we remember what it meant to be squashed in a house full of people we loved and hated and loved some more. May we remember the value of having a small bowl of soup with someone special that far outweighs a fancy meal in a room full of people we don’t know. May we remember the value of a paycheck our hard work brings. May we remember the feeling of gratitude of having good health. May we remember all the small moments, all the small gifts, that made our life abundant in all the scarcity.

 

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Stacy Pederson is a funny motivational Keynote Speaker, who’s almost died a bunch. 

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#ImSpeaking – Why These 2 Words Define Kamala Harris’s VP Run

I don’t care which side of the aisle you are on. Republican. Democrat. This isn’t about politics. This is about legacy. And a voice.

Last night when the world was tucked away in bed, I lay in awe. I now live in a time where my daughter could see a beautiful, intelligent African and South Asian American woman, speak at a Vice Presidential Debate. My daughter could see someone who looks like her.

It wasn’t her ethnicity alone that made the night memorable; it was what she said that stole the show for me. (I’ll give props to the fly, though. Best walk on roll ever.)

“Mr. Vice President, I’m speaking.”

There it was. Hundreds of years of oppression, racism, and strife. To finally be heard on a stage in a bid for one of the highest honors/positions in our country.

The women who were sold and placed on a boat. The immigrant women of a myriad of ethnicities who came by ship or plane. The women who worked the fields. The women who worked the home. The women who worked the factories. The women who had no voice. The women who had no vote.

The women who sat on a bus, who were arrested, who picketed, who shattered glass ceilings. The women who slowly but steadily started using their voice.

The women who believed in their daughters and granddaughters. Who modeled work ethic, resilience, intelligence and hope. The women who didn’t speak with words but spoke by the sweat of their brow.

Because of these women who fought to be heard in the workplace, their home, their community. Because of the women who used written words, spoken words, musical words, art that spoke for them, we heard for the first-time last night:

“Mr. Vice President, I’m speaking.” And she was heard.

Today, many of us do have a voice. But many women still don’t. From the Dalit woman in India to the sex workers in Cambodia. The young girls not allowed to have an education to the elderly women in nursing homes alone and afraid because of Covid. The women who are still seen as second class. The single mother who cleans your home or bags your groceries. The woman who is trapped in an abusive relationship. The woman who is shamed for her body being too big or too small.

The women who are afraid to raise their voice in fear of retribution, name calling, or being seen as a “b***”.

These women still have a voice that needs to be heard.

We- who have a voice-need to speak on their behalf. To model. To give hope.

We who have a voice need to-

Do the work.

 Move the needle.

 Cast the vote.

As the first African American and South Asian American, Kamala Harris spoke the words countless women before her worked so hard to say-

“I’m Speaking.” 

And the world heard.

 

Stacy Pederson is a Funny Motivational Speaker who has almost died a bunch. 

 

Easter 2020 Love and Loss-It’s OK

Photo of My Sister and I.

I wasn’t myself last Friday. I was too blunt. I didn’t listen. I felt restless. Most of all I felt tired. So, I slept for 12 hours straight.

Yep. In a world that idolizes productivity, I laid like a slug and did nothing but sucked up time.

Sunday, I felt sad and restless. Monday even sadder. What?! Me? A motivational speaker who teaches people how to be happy? Yep. And I was fine with it.

Why? Because:

You can’t love without loss.

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I walked outside a lot Sunday and Monday thinking about daffodils and little girls in Easter dresses. Boys running rampant grabbing candy filled eggs. Grandparents in their Sunday best asking, “What?” every 5 seconds on the sofa.

How different this year will be.

No half-eaten ham left on the table. No tiny colorful candy wrappers scattered on the floor where the kids counted their candy. No shoving the leftover deviled eggs in the refrigerator, so no one gets food poisoning. No fruit filled jello mold-which truthfully, I’m fine with.

We all have rituals this time of year. Whether it’s celebrating the Passover, listening to elderly “Mrs. So and So” sing hymns way to loud at the back of the choir, or listening to your drunk Uncle’s conspiracy theory tangents for a pleasant holiday meal.

We come together this time of year, different cultures, races, religions, and celebrate traditions that make us unique- but also make us one.

Yet-here we are. April 2020.

Now every blog writer, motivational speaker, etc., knows here is where I insert the BUT and spin everything into a positive take away for you in order to keep you reading.

But I’m not going to do that….yet. I’m going to take it a step further.

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Stay with me. (I promise this gets to be about you soon.)

As I said, life is about love. You can’t love without loss.

When you hear older people reflect on their regrets in life, it’s usually about chasing after things that didn’t matter or choosing the safer route in their day to day living. Choosing career over children. Choosing protection over pursuit. Choosing being right over relationship.

Looking back, they know something many of us don’t know. It’s something you won’t hear about from those with a “success mindset”, either.

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Life is really about love. Love is a driving force in all of our lives from birth to death.

We long to be loved despite our flaws. We strive to love other people despite their flaws…or the cost. We long for a loving community. A loving world.

Real religion is about love. Relationships are about love. We are born needing, wanting, and thriving on love.

This is not wishful thinking. Most of the choices we make are bound by one thing-to be loved or to display our love.

We want to be beautiful, successful, thinner, wealthier. Why? So that we’re “easier to love”.

We work, we sacrifice. Why? For those we love.

Love risks, and most often, requires loss. Loss of self. Loss of security. Loss of time. Loss of control. Loss of the ability to prevent ourselves from experiencing pain.

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In my faith as a Christian, we celebrate Easter as the ultimate example of love-Jesus’ love. A love that displayed the ultimate loss – life itself on a cross.

Real love is a unique combination of sorrow and satisfaction. Service and sacrifice. Beauty and brokenness. Loyalty and freedom. Life giving and soul wrenching.

We’ve experienced this perhaps with a parent or grandparent. In loving a child. A spouse. The military. A neighbor. A friend.

And now by healthcare workers across the globe.

Many of us are experiencing loss right now. Loss of stability. Loss of routines. Loss of a job. Loss of face to face relationships. Loss of identity. Loss of a sense of purpose. Unfortunately, some are also facing the heart wrenching loss of a loved one.

Now truer than ever is the ol’ line, “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.”

If you are experiencing the feelings of loss or grief-it may be because you loved something you didn’t even know you loved.

Loss is often mixed with sorrow. I looked up the origins of word “sorrow” and according to etymononline.com, it comes from words meaning, “grief, regret, anxiety” and “illness”.

If you find yourself-especially during this time of celebration-struggling with anxiety, grief, regret, or a sense of loss, it may be a sign that shows you- you loved.

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You loved your family despite how maddening they are. You love the work involved in setting up a holiday and celebrating it. You loved the traditions that make it uniquely yours.

You loved your job even though you thought you hated it. You loved your freedom to walk among people without fear. You loved your friends. You loved your family. You loved a lot of things about your life.

You loved. And this is a good thing.

When people say to focus on the positive but you find yourself with unexplainable sadness or feelings of anxiety or loss, this means you are a human who has loved fully and for a time- have lost much. And this is ok. 

Now, for the part I promised-the bright side. Back to my Christian faith-Jesus loved to the point of losing His life. He did it to bring life-a more abundant life.

During this season we may struggle with loss but it is just a season.

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Next year, when the daffodils bloom, the brightly colored candy jar is filled, children are running amuck, and people are arguing in the living room, we will have a new take-a new life on old traditions.

We will have the gift of gratitude. We often discover gratitude during loss. Studies show gratitude is a key ingredient to a living a long-term happy life.

All of the things we took for granted will appear different now. Things that aren’t meaningful fall to wayside. Appreciating the small will become a large part of who we as individuals and even a nation can become.

You’ve lost because you’ve loved. With loss comes gratitude. With gratitude comes love. 

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This is the cycle that makes life both rich and beautiful. 

This is why when I go for my walks I am ok with being a little sad. I recognize it’s a part of the process. Because with death of the old comes new life. Life more abundant.

My Easter prayer this year is that you will discover:

What it is you have loved. 

What it is you have lost. 

What it is you have to be grateful for. 

So that this time next year-you will have a more abundant, happy, rich, and meaningful life.

 

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Stacy Pederson is a Funny Motivational Speaker who has almost died a bunch. 

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I’ve almost died a bunch. Here’s why I’m not trying to be productive during Covid 19.

 

Stacy Pederson funny motivational keynote speakerI’ve almost died before. I don’t recommend trying it. It’s not that fun.

I’ve also lost a marriage, a job, a home, and support system all in three week’s time. I also don’t recommend that.

Due to tremendous rapid loss, as well as almost dying a bunch more, I was diagnosed with PTSD and went through severe depression.

Yet here we are where many people are, or will be, experiencing exactly what I’ve been through with job loss, health crisis, and life altering circumstances in an extremely short amount of time.

Right now is a being touted as a “perfect time” to write a book, develop a course, start a hobby, and a myriad of other things to “start doing”.

I see a little of what’s to come from learning what is now mostly behind me.

Here’s why I’m not trying to be productive during Covid-19.

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Keeping things simple means less stress. Stress suppresses the immune system and can trigger a whole host of other problems. It can make you physically, mentally and emotionally sick.

To say most people are experiencing an unprecedented amount of stress right now is probably an understatement.

Three weeks ago we were lapping up our lattes while our kids were galivanting around in a thing called, “school”.

Now we’re counting cases, tripping over toys, wondering what to sell, and debating if we should divorce now or wait and see if Covid strikes.

Too much change, with too little time to process, and too much uncertainty is more than enough to switch on the ol’ fight or flight response. 

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We are all fighting for normalcy, getting a grasp on the unknown, fear of illness or death for ourselves or our loved ones, and fear of financial instability for basic needs. It’s a fight for life.

When people say, “don’t panic”, they’re basically saying, “don’t be human”. It’s normal to be stressed, anxious or afraid. It’s ok to have those feelings-as long as you don’t stay in that mental or emotional space for too long.

Acknowledge your negative feelings. Take a moment to feel them. Then move forward or take a step back. (Fight-or flight.) Whatever you need to do to gain a better sense of control.

You can’t be “productive” if you’re stressed. You also won’t make sound, logical decisions which are important when taking on new projects. (Hence insane toilet paper hoarding. Not logical. Hoarding cheese, wine and chocolate-now that’s a different story in my book.)

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I’ve learned to listen to my body’s AND my mind’s alarm bells. I’m a flighter. I’ll be the first to run and hide under the covers. When my body or emotions are sending me signals, I take a step back. I don’t push forward. Productivity requires pushing forward.

Some people want to work and be productive for a sense of normalcy and also something to look forward to. A goal, project, new things to focus on to help detract and distract from what’s going on around them.

I did that. For a very long time. Here’s why I don’t recommend it:

When you constantly remain distracted or bulldoze through-when you do finally fall apart-it’s brutal. Disastrous. You’ll find yourself completely unprepared mentally or emotionally for the flood of pent up feelings or thoughts you refused to allow yourself to deal with as it was happening.

Instead, I recommend sticking your toe in the water EVERY morning. If you’re feeling good, and working on a new project brings you peace or joy, then move forward.

If you’re pushing yourself emotionally, mentally, or physically-STOP. Listen to your body and mind. What does it need to process what is happening around you? Quiet? Rest? An intense workout? Socializing? A Plan? Then do that instead.

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Slow your productivity so that you can forge out a new trail of living. You’re used to producing on a well paved highway that requires little thought or adaption. You were most likely living on autopilot.

You’ve suddenly been forced to now stare at an “off the beaten path” of what daily life looks like. A path that’s not forged yet. You can’t run full speed on an ungroomed trail. It takes time and work to build the trail first.

Build the trail of your new normal first. Don’t clutter it up with projects that will cause you new stress or even more levels of uncertainty.

There’s a lot of mental work, physical strain, and emotional re-routing that takes place when dealing with a lot of change. Give your body and mind grace with this.

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Rather than focusing on new projects or getting “caught up” I’ve focused my energy elsewhere. First and most important, I’m taking care of my mind and body. Second, I’m experimenting on trying new routines, priorities, and giving myself grace through all of it.

Here’s some ways I’m doing that to put myself in the best possible state of mind to handle the physical stress of uncertainty and change.

1.    I stopped setting my alarm until my kids’ online school starts. Stress is hard on the body. Your body needs healing time. Most days I still wake up around the normal time but a few of those days I slept 10 hours straight.

2.    I walk outside every day. Sunshine and nature calm the stress response beautifully. It rejuvenates me and boosts my creativity.

3.    I make relationships the #1 priority. My family and people I care about come first. It’s not always this way, but in times of crisis, this is THE thing that matters most. Everything else can wait.

4.    I’ve whittled down my work priorities to just three things and only three things. These things are what’s required, what brings me the most satisfaction, and what I’m the best at. Everything else will wait. (Yes! In times of crisis in your business you “should” focus on what brings you money now. When you’re laying in a hospital bed, as I have, money doesn’t matter much. You need your health, your mind, your relationships to get through. Period.)

5.    I don’t think about what “needs to get done”. Instead I test out certain times of day to try different things. My focus is more on my “training” (like an athlete). I’m working on  the skills of working vs running the race now. After just under 2 weeks, I have a good handle on what’s working for me. Things are kicking in easier, as well as being more balanced and focused.

6.    I do what’s right for me, so I can do right by my friends, work and family. You can’t do right when it comes to others if you’re stressed, angry, anxious, or sick. You need to focus on your own health in all areas so that you’re available and ready for those who need you.

7.    I don’t freak out over being inconvenienced. Most of the time we as humans, get frustrated or angry because someone has inconvenienced us. You get mad at your kids because they inconvenienced you. Same with your significant other. The person at the grocery store, etc. It’s a waste of negative energy on your end. So they got in your way or caused you more work. In the grand scope of what’s happening right now, who cares??? You’re going to have to work harder and deal with more for a time. Your comfort or convenience is not your “end all” right now. Getting through it the best you can is. You’ll be a better person for it.

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The truth is, when 2020 is over, the world is not going to “return to normal” and hopefully you won’t either. Instead, there will be a “new normal”.

The quicker you can learn the skills to adapt by taking the time to process your feelings and emotions as they come, experimenting with your routine, and embracing rapid change instead of fighting it, the better for you.

If you want to be healthy and productive in the long run,

Yes, I could be richer financially if I pushed out a new project, but at what cost? I’m focusing instead on being richer in wisdom, relationships, health and skill of living. You can’t make money lying in a hospital bed. Trust me. I’ve been there.

 

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Stacy Pederson is a funny motivational Keynote Speaker, who’s almost died a bunch. 

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