Mid-Week Live Coaching: Stacey

Have you experienced playing an unwinnable game? At some point in our lives, we might had to say to ourselves, “I can’t, but I must.” A lot of artistic minds often see themselves in this place during the course of their creative careers. In this Mid-Week Live Coaching session, Adam Quiney brings in a friend of his, creative director and brand strategist, Stacey Rae, to share her experience around this. This vulnerable and emotional moment powerfully demonstrates the brilliant ability of the human mind to find a way forward from these seemingly intractable dilemmas. What unwinnable game might you be playing? How is it manifesting in your life? Listen in and allow these realizations to come to you.

Listen to the Episode Here:

Mid-Week Live Coaching: Stacey

This, as always, is a coaching episode. I enjoyed this conversation that we had. This is with a guest named Stacey Rae. She and I go back quite a ways. Originally, I first met her because I was teaching funk styles. For those of you that are not in the know of street dancing, you could think of it like upright breakdancing. I was teaching at a studio in Victoria. This woman came in and loved dancing and loved what I was teaching. We stayed in touch over the years.

Possibly about 6 to 7 years after that, I was thinking, “Who are some people that would enjoy this work that I’ve gotten myself into?” Coaching and leadership. She was the one of the people that came to mind. I would reach out to a lot of people at this time and invite them into that. She was one of the people that said, “Let’s check that out.” Since then, I’ve seen her train as a coach, go on to create her own awesome empire and cool stuff, and create quite a name for herself. It’s an honor and a treat to get to bring this conversation to you and to get to be in that conversation with Stacey.

There’s a couple of things that are great in this conversation. The first one is to notice the energy of the person in the conversation. As a leader or a coach, we’re always listening not just to the words they’re saying, but the energy underneath them. A more complete way of describing that is the being that belies what they are doing. We utter words, which is the vocabulary and the content, and then there’s the way that someone’s being as they’re uttering those words. All of that is part of the signal that’s coming through and that we want to keep our eyes and ears on. As I began with Stacey, what I was immediately present to was the speed at which she was going, that hastiness in the conversation, and the energy behind that. I started to get a little curious about that.

I’m not sure if we include the debrief of this. The thing I’m going to share is that I started to get scared in this conversation because I noticed how fast she was going. I started to wonder to myself, “Do I have to do something? Do I have to stop this? What do I do? Do I just halt?” My work at that moment was to trust myself to let go of what I need to do. Instead, simply sit a little more deeply in what I was feeling and what was going on. Sure enough, as I was willing to do that, the moment presented itself and things started to shift from there.

The other thing that is cool in this conversation is this concept I’ll talk about called the unwinnable game. All of us have an unwinnable game and all of us are playing it. We tend not to be able to see it. The unwinnable game is created with I can’t, but I must. “I can’t put my voice out there, but I must put my voice out there or I will die.” “I can’t ask for what I want, but I must have what I want because it is killing me not to get it.” There are many different ways that we could fill X and Y in the unwinnable game with whatever your particular content is. We’re all in that game in our lives and we’ve all created brilliant ways of being with and adapting ourselves to somehow try to solve this intractable dilemma that we’ve been given. That’ll start to get clear as you read this conversation.

It’s a neat place to look for yourself. It’s like, “What might be the unwinnable game I’ve been playing? How is that manifesting in my life?” I hope you enjoy this conversation. I’ve loved it. As a reminder, we are always looking for people that are willing to courageously volunteer to put their hands up and say, “I would love to be someone in this conversation.” Cool news, if you do that, you get to have a free conversation that might be powerful and could possibly change your life. That’s PR@AdamQuiney.com.

Share at least a little bit from your side. How that was when I first reached out to you and what progressed from there?

Before I say that, I didn’t know that about your teaching experience. I came into the class thinking that you were super experienced and you know exactly how to do this. That was interesting to know based on my perception.

I’ve played with the idea of reaching back out like, “Could I do a four class little thing?” It’s still there.

Do it. Doing this conversation, I was reminded how much I miss dance. When you reached out to me, I was reflecting on that. I was in an interesting space. I was living with my boyfriend at the time. We were sharing a twin sized bed and an 8×8 foot bedroom. My life felt small at the time. I remember when you reached out, I was thinking, “This is going to be motivational,” or like some of our perceptions are of coaching generally like, “I’m going to get a pep talk. I’m going into the game.”

It wasn’t that at all. It was motivational, but it was also devastating because there was a lot of honesty and there was a lot of, “Right.” My life is small. I’m settling and tolerating a lot of things at that time. I knew and we all know on some level that there’s a spark there. I don’t remember exactly what we talked about in that conversation, but I do remember how I felt when I left. I was like, “There’s so much possibility.” I remember that was a pivotal moment for me because I was willing to look at what was there, which was cool.

We could say I was divinely inspired. I was like, “Who are the people for me to brainstorm with and then reach out to?” There are probably 50 other people that I reached out to that were like, “Nope.” In fact, I had a few friends from law who were like, “I’m happy with your profession. I’m not interested in it.” In that way that a lawyer can put their hand on your face and push it down to the ground, which is fine. I love our origin story because so much has grown from that. We’ll talk a little bit about what you’re up to on the backside of this and how people can get to know more about your work. You’ve created so much from where we both humbly began.

I don’t know that I would have landed in that coach training if it hadn’t been for that initial conversation because you opened up something where you were like, “This is something that you’d enjoy. You’d be good at this.” We explored and I was like, “I love that work.” I’d been poking around at it for a while. There was a part of me that wanted that, but didn’t know what that looked like because coaching was fairly new and it is still fairly new in the way that you do it and the trainings that we did.

We should do some events then.

We tend to try to rationalize our fear and act in alignment to it. Share on X

Let’s do it.

Where should we dive in together?

I was sitting with that and it’s hilarious when you sent me a little questionnaire before we got on here. Unknowingly, but maybe knowingly, I jumped over the question about the coaching request, and then your assistant messaged me. She’s like, “I love it. You included everything except this.” I’m like, “Ah.”

It’s the most important. The pivotal thing.

There’s a couple of directions that I could go. There are two pieces that are prevalent for me, so I’m going to trust what’s here. Especially in the time that we’re in in the world, and this has been happening for me for a little while, I feel like I saw this coming and there were a lot of moments. I feel like 2019 was a purification for me. I went through so many dark nights of the soul, coming out the other end, trusting myself, going on a lot of journeys, and moving through a lot of my own limitations and beliefs about myself.

I came into 2020 feeling different, more connected, and more available, which was cool. When all this started to happen where I started to see like, “This is legit. People are going to go through some big upheavals and realizations.” Being that I’ve worked in the digital space for a long time, I’ve come to realize that my work is in supporting people to bring their work to the world, bring their work online, and how to get all of the technology and all that stuff out of the way so they can do their work. I started to have this realization and it’s been emerging for a long time in that.

I have a lot to say and I’ve known that for a long time. I often will exercise that mouth of mine in saying those things. There’s a part of me and my journey of becoming more grounded, more heart-focused, and being more peaceful in general with myself and the way I relate to the world. I’ve realized that the peacefulness I’ve put into this category of don’t upset anybody. Don’t say anything that might ruffle feathers and stuff like that. That’s connected to one of my main wounds in my life, which was learning young to not stand, not be seen, and not be too much. I know that that’s all connected, but I feel like, at the core of who I am, I’m disruptive. I know that I can see things and see aspects of life and how we can do things differently, but then I’m hitting up against this like, “Don’t be too polarizing. Don’t be too intense. Don’t upset people.” I can teach this stuff all day long. I know that polarizing is such an important part of speaking our truth.

Naturally, we’re not going to be able to please everybody. That’s the reality. I’m doing the next layer of that. I’m ready to launch my YouTube channel and I want to start creating more content. I’m pulling away that last layer, and maybe there are many layers. I don’t know. I’m connecting and starting to let go of that peace and maybe redefine what being peaceful for the world is because you can be peaceful and polarizing. I know this stuff logically. When I bump up against it, I’m like, “I should just stay quiet. I shouldn’t make that video. That’s not a good idea.” That’s all up in my space at the moment.

Thanks for that full description of all of that. It’s super rich. Let me make sure I’ve got it. There’s a tension or conflict between love and peace. Peace feels great and yet, you can either have that experience. Is it an internal experience or the world out there is at peace, or both?

What I got when you said that was an internal experience because I know that in the world, there’s a lot of things that are not peaceful. When you said that, I realized, “I’m putting a lot of significance on me. If I’m showing up and ruffling some feathers, then I could somehow create this massive ripple.” It’s more internalized.

It’s like, “I can have the experience of peace. I can make the impact of the waves be disruptive,” but not both. You said you’re unraveling this pulling us apart. Is there a particular place where we could take a look at how this dynamic plays out?

It shows up in a couple of different ways. Definitely, on the generalized daily level, there’s things like ideas that I have. I would say, particularly in speaking up outwardly. A lot of my work is online. All of our workers are probably online. I’ve been hiding out quite a bit. Let me reframe that a little bit, too, because I don’t necessarily think that I’ve been hiding out because it’s been empowered and I did choose it. There is a part of me, and this has come up a lot of wanting to create, knowing that I have these things, but then being like, “I don’t even want to deal with that.” I’d say work around my work, saying the things, and creating the things.

What are the things?

Definitely my YouTube channel. Part of that resistance is big because I can feel it in me and a lot of the things that I’ve planned on creating are a bit disruptive and definitely our aim towards education and shifting perspectives and stuff. I know that it’s going to be a little bit intense and that’s why the resistance is maybe so high.

What you shared with me is totally fine. It was like talking about things like, “I want to launch my YouTube channel.” What is it you want to say? Tell me the things. Disrupt me.

GL Stacey | The Unwinnable Game

The Unwinnable Game: Social media can be really damaging because it feeds into these behaviors and thoughts about ourselves that aren’t true.


I feel called to create some short films and there’s one specifically around women who work in sex work. I’ve had my own experiences there, disempowered experiences with that, and seeing a lot of the inner workings of how that goes for people. I want to create something that is essentially showing how a woman ends up there. Not to say every woman of course, but how many women end up there and the loop that plays out and some of the behind the scenes without getting too graphic. I’m still talking about the thing.

Let me speak to everyone while you sit with that. This is not a flaw in Stacey. You’ve heard me talk about this before. What we all do is we get up in the stands and we talk about the thing that’s happening rather than being on the court of our life sharing it. Of course, we would do that because then, you can probably feel Stacey’s edge in saying the thing. It’s easier for us to talk about saying the thing and how we want to help me figure out how to say the thing rather than like, “Let’s start with what is the thing,” and then work there.

This is interesting because I’m not allowing myself to go there often and that’s why it’s feeling a little bit crunchy getting there.

Can I reflect something, too?


I noticed your speaking is quick and I wonder if that’s connected.

Probably. I know that there’s a performance piece. I do this a lot. I get on chats or podcasts, and things like that. This is the part of me that I struggle to create from because there’s an inauthenticity or a lack of letting myself go there. Part of what I’m creating is intuitive and also comes through in the moment if there’s something that I see or get a sense of. If I’m not letting myself drop into that place, then I can’t say the thing or it might float on by. I’ve had some awareness of things around how we do this online thing. I look a lot at the way that we invite people into the online space to share their message. I feel like part of my message is that we do get to be ourselves. It’s hilarious that this is what I’m in, to cut the crap in a way.

What would that look like?

Just being here and sharing what is here. Not trying to get it right or whatever, which is a new space for me, I will say. The way that I’ve gone through life, I know what this is going to look like and thinking ahead. A lot of people who’ve experienced trauma tend to have that approach. Maybe not even if they’ve had trauma. It’s a human thing. This is what I crave as I’m saying this. It’s not creating content. It’s creating from the moment. It’s not so plotted and planned out. The phone is the microphone and we’re just walking through life sharing our experience. A little bit more like that than organized.

Having shared that, what’s present for you?

There are some emotions there. There’s some forgiveness there as well. I get that there’s sadness and forgiveness like, “Ah,” and that feels collective. It doesn’t feel like mine. I’m like, “I’m so sorry that we believe the lie.” We had to be something else. We had to be fit into this box of what a human should be. There’s quite a bit of emotion there. This is connected to the feeling that I’m in quite consistently, but I’m keeping lower down because that’s that disruption of like, “There’s the illusion that I’m aware of. There’s a part of me that wants to play that game.”

I’m like, “We’ll be an influencer and create within the same context of that.” There’s another part of me that’s like, “No, screw that.” All of us are getting to this point of like, “Something is off.” A lot of us are seeing that social media can be damaging and can be influencing these behaviors and these thoughts about ourselves that aren’t true. Men too, but women have this idea of what we should look like, what we should sound like, what life is supposed to look like, what family is supposed to look like, and all of these things. I’m scared. I can feel that fear of coming forward, disrupting that, and challenging that. There’s a lot of fear there. It’s not a fear that something’s going to happen. It’s a fear that if I don’t say it and I don’t show up as who I know I am, it will eat me alive. That feeling of the death of a thousand paper cuts of not being who you know you are consistently. That’s the fear.

Let me see if I’ve got it. The first thing is where you’re present to is fear. There’s a lot of editorializing on top of that. Not to make it wrong. I do the same thing. Part of the fear is like, “If I don’t do this now, I will be destroyed. It will consume me or kill me or cut me to pieces over and over.” It would make sense then. If it occurs a little bit from that fear, then what there is to do is to better get started yesterday.

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The significance is what keeps me in that cycle. It feels so big and there is so much fear that I get into like, “I better wait until next week.” That’s full on. There are tons of ground taking. I know that there’s a lot of things that I’m creating and stepping into. I get the timing of it. In this conversation, I’m so present to how much this isn’t a strategy to create. It’s like a heart soul yearning of creating your art and letting that come through.

It makes sense that that would be scary.

When I see it in other people, it’s so clear and I feel like I can support others with this. I know that that’s the human dilemma. In me, it’s so visceral. It’s different than when we just look at someone else and can see the things. Resting in that. It’s almost like there’s nothing else to say. I’m like, “Ah.” That’s what there is to do.

That’s an interesting statement that there’s something to do.

I know that that’s how I tend to relate to it. I get exhausted just thinking about it. “Now I got to go and do all this stuff.”

There’s this thing that you want to do that’s scary. There are two ways. One, it’s scary to share and the other is scary not to share. It’s like damned if you do, damned if you don’t. One of the approaches with the fear is to rush off and do it because it’s scary not to share. I get the speaking picks up. Your energy gets fast. I’m curious, does that manifest in your actions and what you create? What does that look like?

Even if this can show up quite often, all we go into the overworking or picking up the pace. I use humor a lot, deflection things. Even now, I’m like, “If I was to go and turn on my camera and start filming, that would be there.” Even on my podcast, I noticed it. I’m not making it wrong. I get that it’s a part of it. It shows up. It’s like this, “Better get it out.”

I imagine you could create quite a bit from that place where it’s the stuff that gets made, you can make a lot. “I got to get it all done.” Probably in a way that would wow a lot of people where they’re like, “Holy crap. How did Stacey make an entire course, 7 weeks of podcasts, 13 clients, and whatever else she’s created in two days? That’s insane.” I’m guessing there’s also an overlying impact to this. What’s the cost of this?

I’m having a hard time accessing it. I’m bumping up against the, “I’m not doing enough. I’m not doing tons of stuff.” I’m almost in this little bit of resistance to answer you.

We’re on the other side of this equation, so to speak, where it’s like, “It’s going to kill me if I don’t do it and I’m not doing it sufficient,” whatever that is. As soon as I asked, “What’s the cost?” It’s like, “I can’t think about the cost because I have to do it.” Tell me how that goes.

It’s a lot of pushing off. I’m holding tight is my experience of it. My coach is amazing at pointing to it and we’ve created a lot of stuff around it. I’m like, “Yes.” It goes like that truthfully. A lot of planning and creating it. My experience is I’m dragging myself out of the room into the art room like, “Time to create.” Even though I want to, I will fight.

Thanks for sharing that. That makes so much sense. Let me speak to everyone first. What happened there was Stacey had resistance to looking in a certain direction. That’s ultimately what we would call trusting the client because it’s not for me to impose a direction for us to look at. It’s for Stacey to guide us through this and me just to be shoulder to shoulder with her. When she’s got resistance to going one way, we honor that. “Got it. We don’t want to look that way. What way should we look? How does this go? Let’s go with what is showing up for you.” You get it done, but then it’s dragging yourself through mud.

On the other side or even during the creation, I’m so stoked about loving life and being fully activated. I’m like, “Yes, this is the best.” In the end, I’m feeling accomplished and creative. I’m like, “This is so juicy. It’s exactly what I want.” I try to remind myself that. I’m like, “It’s so good.” I’ll try to then keep that momentum. Inevitably, I will hit some wall or burn myself out trying to maintain the good moment.

Underneath all of this is a little bit like you’re creating so as to ensure your fear is resolved or it doesn’t come true, or it doesn’t happen.

That resonates. There’s a component of fear that still drives it. It doesn’t feel like this natural expression. There’s a control to it. I’m sitting with that. I can feel what it feels like to be myself and create my art. There’s a component of letting go, surrender, and trust there. It’s not controlled because it is just who I am and I know that on a deep level. That’s what I can feel is the truth. It doesn’t need to be controlled and yet, here I am forcing it and drinking another espresso to make it happen.

Which you’re incredible at. You can force something, and I don’t even mean that force in the sense of will something into existence beyond all barriers. You’re incredible at that. We’ll get bounced out of this. Maybe that part of you will be like, “No, still not going to look.” From that place, from creating from that way of being, so to speak, what’s the ultimate cost of all of this?

GL Stacey | The Unwinnable Game

The Unwinnable Game: If you find yourself in a hole and you believe the solution is to get a ladder, it’s only going to work until you realize that the real problem is that you keep finding holes and falling into them.


I saw so many connections all of a sudden. What I sense is that the cost is my own piece, which is interesting. The cost is the thing that I want, which is to connect with people and share and also, be an example of that. Be the embodiment of that versus just talking about it. I keep wanting to say the joy of creating. There’s humor in all of it. I can see the light control and fixation and all that. I’m like, “I got it. I’m totally human.” There’s a joy and a trust that I don’t get to play in. That’s what I know I crave on a deep level. That depth and being versus it always having to be strategic.

It’s relatable for me what you’re talking about. One of the things I find fascinating about our fear, first of all, is that we try to rationalize it, defeat it with rationality. Our fear is like, “This is terrifying.” We’re like, “I don’t need to be afraid of that. Here are all the reasons why.” Our fear is like, “I don’t care. I’m irrational. That is irrelevant. That doesn’t impact me. It doesn’t work.” What we do is we try to act in alignment with our fear. If we’re afraid that by not doing something safe, we will land on our head, we either do the thing or we invest in some hardhat thing. We let our fear be that which determines how we go out into the world and do stuff. It’s like you’re in this I can’t, but I must. It makes sense. It’s almost like you’re creating stuff, but there’s a bit of a tug of war. There can’t be a piece. Is that how it feels?

It does. I realized that there were two ideas of what I thought we might talk about. They’re exactly a mirror of each other. I realized that, too, where I was like, “There was this other component of busy versus creation,” and this feels similar. It’s like, “Am I forcing it?” Is it from this place of fear, “It’s going to happen,” or creating? There’s a difference. It feels like trust to me when I think about creation versus how it’s been going.

What is it that the fear is trying to stop you from doing or protect you from doing?

I was going to answer and then I thought, “Let me look at it again with fresh eyes because there’s a little something maybe else going on here.” There are a couple of pieces here. The first thing I was going to say is from being fully seen because there’s definitely some wounding around that. That’s my programming in a way like, “Don’t be too big. Don’t be too loud.” That’s there. There’s also a fear of success. That’s generalized. I create this, show up, and do these things.

I support people in this way, and then there’s this element of like, “That’s a lot of responsibility. I am not God. I don’t know everything.” I get into that conversation of like, “Who am I to do that?” There is a little bit of that going on. I’ve been doing a lot of that because I feel like that’s been my work, too. When you have a lot of responsibility, you’ll navigate that then and you’ll continue to do your work then. I get it. There is maybe some of that on a little bit, too. You’ve got this platform and you’ve got these people reading, and now what?

That’s the part of the fear that has you pull back. There’s another part of your fear that’s been present, which is like, “I have to.” “Do it quickly right now.” What’s that part trying to keep you from doing or prevent it from happening?

The quick one.

Quickness is the solution to the fear.

I’m loving this. We’re pulling it all out in the open here. It’s like, “Don’t die with your song inside of you. You know this is who you are. You know all this stuff.” It feels connected to pride and others like, “Get it done, Stacey. People know you. People do this. Come on. Don’t look bad.” It’s fun to say it loud.

That’s rule number one. It sounds like two problems coexisting, one is it’s wrong, bad dangerous for whatever reason to be fully seen to be successful and to be who you are. Co-occurring is that you’re going to die with your song inside of you. How do you solve this impossible dilemma?

Swinging between the two has been my MO or thrusting it on one side and being like, “You’re going to do all of the things.” It has been ineffective. It’s been helpful and then it forced me to get out there and create things and it worked on some level, but it creates this stop-and-go experience. What I’m getting is there’s also a gentleness. It doesn’t have to be forceful. It feels like steps.

We’re into dangerous territory. I’m going to talk to everyone else. Stacey is starting to get into, “I know what the thing is.” It’s like, “Here’s the solution.” One of the things is we can’t leave a place until we’ve been there. As humans, we don’t want to be there. Wherever we are right now is wrong. We’re tired of being there already. Let’s move on. I trust that Stacey has created a brilliant solution to the impossibility of these two, the rock and a hard place, in which she finds herself. That’s what I want to look at so that Stacey can start to see this getting created in her life moment by moment.

We can’t choose something. What we’re actively trying to do is like, “What’s the solution?” If we find ourselves in a hole and we believe the solution is to get a ladder, that’s only going to work until we realize, “The real problem is I keep finding holes and falling into them. No amount of ladder is ever going to help me get out of that. It just helped me do it faster.” I’m curious. You’re doing great, by the way. I want to be clear, anything I say to these people is not that you’re doing it wrong. You’re doing perfectly. Great work.

Free yourself from judgment and fall in love with yourself. Share on X

I wasn’t getting that.

You could let me know that I’m doing good too over here.

You are doing great. Thank you.

We’ve got this thing you said like, “One of the things where I’ll try to work with this is to swing back and forth or do all the things right now.” In the do all the things right now, how does that allow you to stay safe from being fully seen? In what way does that problem still get resolved?

If I’m doing that, it’s almost like I’m still hiding because I’m in the do, do. It’s out here. I can produce out here and hide behind, which is also how I do business. It’s like, “Create a bunch of stuff.” I’ll be over here. This is what happens when we start getting close. My brain is like, “Abstract thoughts.”

That makes total sense. Let me reflect on what I heard you say. One, you got an intractable problem. The problem is A) You can’t let yourself be seen fully. B) You’re going to die with your song inside of you and it’ll kill you, which are in direct opposition to one another. They’re in direct opposition to one another and yet, somehow, you must solve this problem. I was asking, “What solutions have you created to do this?” One of them is, “I’ll do all of the things, which solves the problem of I will die with my song inside of me.” We also know somehow in the way you’re going to be and the way you’re going to show up to do all the things, you’re going to also solve the problem of being too much. You’ve got to make sure that doesn’t come true. What I heard you say is you’ll do all of the stuff but in such a way that you are still back and off the court and there’s a degree of separation or safety. Is that right?

That’s fair.

Any other solutions to this intractable problem that you can see at this moment that you’ve created?

That was accurate. When you laid it all out like that, I’m like, “That’s exactly how it goes.”

I was saying what the smart person said in this conversation.

I can see that there are little things that I do that are maybe a little bit less conscious while being tends to be a way that I am like, “I’m not feeling well. I’ll have to start next week or I have to push it out.”

Let your well-being slide?

Yes. That’s mainly how it goes.

Let’s take it the other direction. What are some of the things you do to solve the problem of being fully seen? It’s like, “That’s bad.” How do you solve that?

Holding back. Not standing out. Not having an opinion about certain things. My superpower is I can read people and I can chameleon a little bit. I tend to be quite shape-shifty so I can fit in. I cannot be too disruptive.

GL Stacey | The Unwinnable Game

The Unwinnable Game: The way to ensure that you’re not letting your song die inside of you though is by teaching it to other people.


You are what people want you and need you to be as opposed to what Stacey is. We’re looking at it like, “There’s a problem of Stacey being fully seen being who she is.” We’ve got to have a solution of that, which is to hide, hold back, withhold, be what is required by other people. We also know that in doing that, you’re also going to have to find a solution to the fact that you’re going to die with your song inside of you. How does that strategy then wrap up into solving this other thing?

It’s almost like I gather information. This is part of it, which is hilarious. I teach a lot of this stuff. I teach people how to get their work online and create these different components and understand their message and do these different things and all this stuff. It’s almost like I’m acting it out over here so that I can get that fill of helping other people get their work out there. It’s almost like I’m getting the hits of it but it’s not mine.

It sounds like part of the way it goes is you’ll be what other people need you to be with poles to who you are and then the way you ensure that you’re not going to let your song die inside of you is by teaching and providing it to other people. You’re like, “Here’s how you do it.” At least you get a hit and you’re adjacent to the path that’s truly yours. At least you’re in the conversation a little bit. It’s brilliant. Imagine a young girl who’s given this impossible problem, this dilemma in her life like, “Here’s the problem. If you don’t sing your song, it will kill you. You’re too much. Your song is too much. Off you go, solve it.” You’ve created these strategies that somehow allowed you to navigate these two in “truths” that you were given. There is utter brilliance to that, Stacey. I’m present. Imagine 6-year-old, 4-year-old, however old you were when you got this training creating that. It’s like, “That’s brilliant to be able to put that together.”

Thanks. I can see how it’s operational. It works in a way. I can see why I’ve been like, “Next week. I got a good thing going on.”

I love teaching dance because I didn’t have to get into the circle and dance. I got to be the one teaching you all the techniques. Maybe you remember this, we never did freestyle in my classes because then I would have to get into a circle with you guys and not have the rhythm right and not do it the correct way. I practiced moving past that but I want to out myself in that. That was similar to what I’m hearing you talk about. It’s like, “I’ll teach all of you and I can point to it.” It almost feels good enough.

Thanks for sharing that. I get that and I relate to that. I had some stronger versions too. That was one of the reasons why I left the dance. I was like, “I love dancing. I love learning how to dance. I don’t want to be seen too much.” I don’t want to do that part.

One of the things I want you to know, Stacey, is that’s hilarious. Not hilarious you’re dumb. It’s a cosmic joke hilarious that someone like you would not want to be seen too much. It makes total sense. You’re a radiant Queen of a woman that a supernova would’ve been like. Look at over there, that brown dwarf. Look at Jupiter, isn’t it cool?

I’ve had that reflected me before. I can sometimes take that and be like, “Oh.” It feeds into that fear of dying with the song inside me. I’m like, “You’re right. I feel like I’ve got this. I’m sitting on a goldmine of stuff that I want to like, bring to the world and share my heart with people.” This doesn’t feel as true now but it played into the fairness. It’s like, “Why did I have that experience as a kid? That sucks.” That doesn’t feel true now. I feel like I’m quite on the journey. I’m like, “That’s cool that I got to this point.” That’s all part of the breakthrough, the bigger experience for me is that. It makes sense.

Someone in a similar position, similar experience, what would you want for them?

I would want them to shine. Fall in love with themselves. There is a component of self-judgment that I’d want them to be free of and maybe that judgment has been imposed by others. Who knows? That freedom.

Who would they get to be from that place?

I’m getting some layers here. They get to be themselves, ultimately. They get to be the fullest expression of who they are, which is not finite. They get to keep exploring and bringing out. It’s exciting. Who knows what’s going to come out of that with no limitation on what you can create, which is something I am infatuated with in life? What art is to me is this unending, provocative experience of stuff that’s coming through especially when we’re not copying each other, which is a total beef I have. It’s allowing what’s emerging to come out. Art has taught us so much. The piece that this person would get to be is fully alive. How I got all of that from that is cool.

I’m guessing that includes the parts that aren’t shiny, pretty, or beautiful art if that’s even a qualifier. That makes sense. I’m curious, what do you see there might be to take on from here?

Doing anything out of fear begets more fear. Share on X

There are these emotions again. I’m like, “That’s me.”

What are the emotions that show up for you at the moment?

It started with a little bit of sadness. I was tuning in to it and its happy tears. It’s joy. There’s a real palpable spaciousness.

Joy, spaciousness with a little bit of sadness. I’ll reflect on what happened there. I asked you, “What do you see there is to take on from here?” Your answer was a little bit of sadness, joy, and spaciousness.

The simplicity of that and the power of that landed for me. It’s not like, “I’ve got to go and do all these things now.” It’s like, “What if it was from spaciousness, joy, and a little bit of sadness?” That’s present. That’s pretty special.

How could you share that? To be clear, I hear you saying, “I want to share from that place.” I love that. Share from that place and share as that place.

I get all kinds of visuals and like, “That’s possible.” It feels less strategic. There isn’t a definitive, like, “This is what it would look like.” It’s experienced, which is where we started. It’s being myself. How would I share that? I’m not finding an answer because I’m like, “I don’t know.” It would be sharing it, which is different. Usually, I would have like, “I could create a video about this, Adam. It would be about this.”

Sometimes, I’d be like, “Let’s create a practice. Let’s create a way to share it.” That can be a bit of a slippery slope for you. This is part of what your fear will tell us. There’s no time to sit in that. There’s no time for joy, sadness, and spaciousness. It’s your song. It’s like, “That is your song right now.” Before you can share your song with other people, you have to be willing to stop and share, so to speak, with yourself. What I’m hearing you say is like, “Perhaps what is to practice is to be with some sadness, to be with some joy, to be with some spaciousness for a while, and trust that is my song.”

I felt that. When you shared that, it landed for me. It was like a weight was lifted but it was also like, “Okay.”

This is the part where it can get a little slippery but some structure can support us and maybe that structure is as simple as if you have a meditation practice, you bring this there. If you don’t, you set aside ten minutes before you go to bed or right when you wake up to be like, “What is my song at this moment? Can I sit with that?”

I can take that on. I got something there. I was like, “I noticed that during this time of so much time, I’m filling it with all these other things to take up time.” My balcony is calling to me. It’s like, “I can go out there.” Those emotions are there. As soon as we landed on that, it was like, “Right.”

Your energy at this moment is much softer but there’s more peace.

I feel that. We got to peace.

We did it. Anything else that you see you’d want to take on coming from this place?

I’m going to stick with this and I’m going to explore from there. I feel like the drop in of this is what’s going to have me authentically choose those things and be like, “This is what I’m going to take on.” Not from, “This is what I’ve been telling myself I should be doing. This is what I desire to create.” From this place, I’m going to choose some things to take on whether that is hitting record on the camera or something else.

I have one more for you. This is more of a noticing practice. You may notice getting pulled back into the unwinnable game. An unwinnable game is spinning plates on those poles. On that game, you never get to the place where all the plates have been spun and now it is done. You have to keep them spinning. You can notice when that’s happening and then check in. It’s like, “What is my song at this moment?”

GL Stacey | The Unwinnable Game

The Unwinnable Game: Before you can share your song with other people, you have to be willing to stop and share it with yourself.


I wrote that down. I love that.

I would like to finish by acknowledging you but I want to check and see if there’s anything else here for you in this conversation for it to feel complete?

It feels complete. Thanks so much, Adam.

Stacey, I acknowledge you for the queen that I experienced you as, your radiance, grace, and your incredible power to magnetize and to create in the world and to inspire others to do that. There’s a way you move through life that will happen. I often get that feeling with you. One of the thing that’s inspiring about the journey you’re on is if we were to couch this in a masculine-feminine dynamics, I feel you moving a little bit away from the masculine, like, “I’m going to make this happen,” into the softness of the feminine.

I feel you cultivating the trust in that part. It’s like, “What it is for me to do is to be with my song. It will come to me.” Thanks for the trust in this conversation. Also, thanks for being hilarious. You and I got to go for dinner and I love your sense of humor and your playfulness. There’s a way that you joke that you jump back and forth between pretending something is serious and then also being able to laugh at the cosmic joke of it. It’s delicious.

Thanks, Adam.

You’re welcome. Anything you’re present to or were surprised by or noticed throughout our conversation there?

I noticed how so much of what we were speaking to and even what I wasn’t sure about the two different coaching requests how connected it all was, how this has been at play for quite a bit. I wasn’t clear of the unwinnable game. I was like, “I got to overcome this fear and go out there and do this thing.” I was believing that on some level. Seeing it out like that is like, “Going in between those for the rest of my life is not going to be joyful.” There was a lot of awareness of the actual setup of it and also the brilliance of how I created that. That was cool to see that. I get the reason and also the creation of that coming from survival. It’s like, “I got these two things. What am I going to do with it?”

I’m always odd when I let myself be. When I’m closed hearted and frustrated, I’m like, “Dummies, stop. Can’t you see that won’t work?” If I can expand and open past that, I’m always odd by how brilliant we are. The ability of humans to adapt to play a game that we’ve been given and everyone has that game that is unwinnable, in a way, it’s a tragedy. Also, it’s like, “That’s epic that we created that.”

Epic is a good way to describe it.

One thing that was there for me, especially early on, I was present to your speed and present to my fear about it. Not that I was like, “What is there for me to do? Do I let that go? Do I need to speak to that?” I don’t know why I would, other than to point to it at this point. There’s a bit of me 1) Trusting you and your process. 2) Trusting me to like, “I feel it. I don’t have to jump off.” It’s like what we’re talking about. You have that fear show up and then we were like, “I must act now,” which is a little bit for me. It’s like, oh, “We’re going quick. I must do something.” I’m like, “No, you don’t, Adam. Sit in this and feel a little afraid for a while and choose to trust.” It’s neat how it’s all fractal. What is above, as is below.

Thanks for sharing that. I didn’t know. I also didn’t know that I did that. I have a story that my brain processes information quickly. Some of it is a fear thing. It tends to show up when I get into that back and forth. It was a cool drop-in.

That’s the nature of our fear, too. Our strategies are born out of our gifts. I see this a lot. Whenever we point to something or anywhere, people are like, “Yeah, but that’s because.” It’s like, “You’re right.” Doing anything from fear tends to get us more fear or the expression of trying to resolve fear as opposed to the expression of our truest, deepest self and all of that stuff. Up in the mix, Carly Greene Hill came on and said, “This is amazing, it’s timely.” As an acknowledgment of you, Stacey, thanks for being open to express and explore this. In these conversations, we’re not doing it for ourselves. We’re doing it for each other. First of all, I always get something from these. We’re doing it for the collective.


Art is an ongoing practice of choosing past our judgment. Share on X

Carly said, “I feel like my brain can be dumb. Every twelve hours I have to try and reason with it, ‘Brain, we talked about this. You like making art, doing yoga, and reading. Please don’t resist this.’ My brain always forgets to resist. I have to do the kicking and screaming process all over again to do the thing.” I’m present to how the expression of art or the creation of art is an ongoing, continual practice of choosing past our judgment.

Heather says, “I love this. You’re going to die with this still in you. It’s super relatable.” I get that, too. Carly, “This is close to home produce and stay busy. I look great and no one is the wiser, AKA I’m not fully seen.” You and I share that, too. I don’t know if you ever had this version but I would go to networking events. I’d hate every single human being by the time it was done and I’d be exhausted because I was on working hard to be what this person required, the chameleon, and never sharing any resisting connection at the same time. It’s brutal. “You’re good at networking, Adam.” Yeah, I know but I hate my fellow men.

I’m good at it because I know how to be what they want me to be.

Carly says, “Great work, Stacey. It’s relatable and honest, joy, a dash of sadness, and spaciousness.” Jess is sharing, “I love this. What is my song at this moment? Allowing for being with what it is.” Heather said, “I’m experiencing Stacey’s presence is much lighter. Her speech is slower, too. Nice work.” To finish up, Evan says, “I love this on both ends. Stacey, thanks for playing and being yourself. I relate to, ‘Don’t be too much. Stay invisible,’ and wanting my song to be heard. Although my song doesn’t seem super clear.” That’s beautiful. That’s your song. Your song is not super clear. That is the thing to share. “I will take asking myself, ‘What’s my song at the moment?’” as a practice.

Thanks, guys.

Thank you everyone for hanging out. I’m going to wind us down. Stacey, thanks so much for being here. You’re a coach and quite a profound one, in my opinion. What are you up to? What should people know about you? Where do they find you?

Thanks, Adam. I had a pivot happen. Being that I’d been an entrepreneur for years and always being in this space of creating, I recognized that every single client I was working with was in a similar conversation. I don’t know if that ever happens to you. Being reflected clearly that you’re supposed to be talking about this thing. It’s like, “This is the thing.” All my clients were entrepreneurs and women who were in business in some capacity but they were being stopped by technology. They didn’t know how to get their work in, how to clarify their brand, how to create, how to get online. That was devastating to me because I was watching their art not be in the world.

I pivoted into doing some powerful and what I feel like is sacred branding work. As an entrepreneur, I know that when we interact with media agencies or branding agencies, sometimes it’s a little bit flat. It’s like, “Let me create a strategy for what your brand is.” What I pivoted into doing was working with people to translate their soul work. Who are they and how can we visually display that? How can we create an online experience that walks their people through their gifts? That has been me building this media agency. There is a coaching component.

We’re bringing your work out into the world. There is a component of resistance, fear, and all of the things that we were even talking about in this conversation. It’s beautiful. It’s something I’ve fallen in love with over and over again. It’s supporting people in that way. It’s been the deliverable artistic piece where we get to create and then also the leadership and being able to step into, “My soul work is needed in the world and that is what I’m up to.” Mosty, I work with female entrepreneurs in that. I’ve worked with a couple of males, which I love doing that work too. That’s been exciting. My company is called Yoor Media. We’re doing some pretty cool stuff. We do podcast production, websites, branding, and all that good stuff. I’m doing a relaunch with my podcast, Lady Talk Radio. I’m pushing the edges with that. From this conversation, I’m giving up some of the things I thought I had to talk about and there’s something else that’s going to emerge there. That’s cool. I’m excited about that as well.

When will that happen?

I’m getting all the goods together and then it’s all going out. There are tons of episodes on there that you can tune into. When I go and listen to early episodes, it’s hilarious. This was an example of me creating without a lot of strategies. My coach was like, “Press play.” We’re creating and I was drinking wine and making podcasts. It was a different experience. You can see the evolution of that show.

If people are like, “I resonate with Stacey. I want to reach out to her,” YoorMedia.com.

You can reach out to me on Facebook or Instagram.

I want to share about The Forge for anyone curious. I’ve been pumping and pimping this thing like crazy because it’s amazing. The Forge is a nine-month program that my wife and I run. It’s ontological. All you need to know about that is its transformation and it will impact the way you’d be in the world. We don’t work on developing the doing and the actions of coaches and leaders. We work on creating the transformation that has them show up and simply be a coach and leader regardless of the circumstances.

What’s cool about that is you don’t have to learn a bunch of rules and then be like, “What’s the rule when someone shows up this way?” When you change your being, it’s like riding a bike. You don’t need to go back and read the bike riding manual for when you’re presented with a 90-degree left turn. You don’t even know. You do what you do base on the being of being able to ride a bike. It’s incredible. Our registration is open. If that’s something you’re curious about, you should reach out and talk to me. I love those conversations. That’s everything. Thanks, everyone who joined us. Stacey, thank you.

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About Stacey Rae

GL Stacey | The Unwinnable GameA coach, creative, and consultant in the space of women’s performance, Stacey combines holistic health, neuroscience, ontological coaching, stress resiliency, and women’s work to address the pressing need for wellbeing in the workplace and a reconnection to our lives, so we not only do our best work and lead powerfully, but that we live with presence and depth.

Host of Lady Talk Radio, Huge Geek, and Occasional Poet, Stacey’s mission is simple : Start conversations that make a difference in the everyday lives of ambitious women so they can live and lead in their mojo.