Stacey Murphy, Relationship/Life Design Coach, shares her experience of embracing the “Gift of Flexibility” during her digital nomad journey. She learned to detach from her plans and not take things personally when they don’t go according to plan. She also learned to ask herself two questions when disappointment arises. She applied this to her own situation of building a tiny mansion and found a builder who was significantly cheaper than the first one she had chosen. She encourages others to ask themselves these two questions to turn disappointment into an opportunity and to step into the empowering lesson of flexibility.



TITLE: Disappointment Into Opportunity

Well, hello, beautiful ones. It’s Stacey here, the head vixen of the Vixen Academy, and I want to welcome you to my podcast, where I’m going to be sharing with you my personal story as well as how you can turn any disappointment into an opportunity. I will tell you this, the digital nomad experience that I’m going through (and it will be soon concluding) has really taught me to embrace the gift of flexibility. Like I’ve shared with a lot of people, I knew this journey was going to change me, and I was open to the opportunities.  I really wasn’t sure HOW it was going to change me, but I knew I was going outside my comfort zone and I was gonna be open to receiving what it is.

And one of my big lessons, I think my biggest lesson, has been around flexibility and let me kind of get a little bit deeper into that.  I’m by habit (and even by profession) a planner.  I did project management for twenty-five years in my corporate environment and I’m a coach right now so I have to develop lesson plans to get my clients and students through their transformation, so I’m a planner by heart especially when I was in corporate.  With project management, not only do you have to develop the plan, but you had to have a backup to your plan, as well as a backup to the backup plan.

So, it was crazy. It was just real crazy. And what I found out about myself, that when it came to business, I was able to detach myself successfully from the plans. Was I able to detach totally, a hundred percent? Not really.  But I was able to detach the majority or good sense of it.

However, what I noticed though was that in my personal life, I was very attached to the plans that I was doing and It really caused anxiety in me. And as you know, going on my healing journey and with my Buddhist mindfulness teaching, I found out that anxiety was my main destructive emotion and it create worry, anxiety and all those other things that go along with it.

And so, as I’ve been going on my own journey, my Buddhist mindfulness teacher, Thank you very much, Lama Michael said, “Yeah, of course you can plan, but expect half your plans not to go according to plan. And he goes. As long as you remember that, you should be good, right?” I was like Okay.

But I found out that if something didn’t go according to plan, I started telling myself, “Well, that must be the 50 % that Lama Michael was talking about that doesn’t go according to plan.” And that’s what I kept saying to myself. And I found out. The more I repeated that, or said that to myself, two things happened. One is becoming more detached. This is how you become detached from your plan when you know, okay, 50 % of it may not go according to plan.

So, you already embed that in your mind. If something goes sideways, you go okay, that must be what it’s about. And I found that I also didn’t take things as personally because it really didn’t have anything to do with me. Just like when something doesn’t go according to your plans, how many times do we take that personally? But in actuality, is anything really done to us intentionally? In most instances, no, it’s not, and you’ll be able to see that when you are able to detach from it.

And so, whenever anything started going sideways, that’s the 1st thing I would say. And then from there it made it very easy to see what the next step is. As I’m going along in my digital nomad journey, as you know, a large part of this is building a tiny mansion so I can relocate both myself and my business.  I’ve been involved in this process for a while and I started to see that things with the builder I selected not going according to plan.

There were two things that were coming up and that were causing massive anxiety in me. One was time, and time is money, because I should have been in my house already.  At least that was my plan that was communicated to my builder.  But for six months (they were) dragging their feet trying to get pricing and doing all this stuff and they blew through, and missed, my deadline. So I started feeling we weren’t in alignment with what was going on.

I could also start to feel the domino effect of anxiety and worry starting to creep itself in.  I started to feel like I was going down that rabbit hole. And in that moment, like whenever you feel that you’re starting to go down a rabbit hole and it’s a familiar feeling to you, the next thing you do is you just stop – you suspend that feeling and that thought.  I said to myself, “I am not going to allow this to create anxiety and worry within me.”

So, I was like, okay, there are two questions I can ask myself, and these are the same two questions I want you to ask yourself because this is how you can turn disappointment into an opportunity. This is also how you turn disempowerment into empowerment. This is how you transform going down that rabbit hole and easily suspend yourself from going down the rest of the way.  Because once you go down that rabbit hole, it becomes so much harder to dig yourself out.

One of the things that helps is to first stop and suspend the thought and then suspend the feeling for a moment.  Then you ask yourself this 1st question “What am I supposed to learn from this situation?” What you’re doing is, you’re tapping into your earth school lesson. You’re tapping into what the universe or your source, whatever you call it, is trying to teach you.  This is so you can have make easier decisions, or in the long run, have an easier life for yourself.

What’s currently happening is growing pains.  But really, it’s a lesson. Just like if you were to go and take a college course or just like if you were to be in one of my coaching programs.  I teach and I train is like taking a lesson.  Your Earth School lesson is no different.  You first ask, “What am I supposed to learn?” When I suspended the anxiety and worry and ask myself that question, this is what came up. This is an opportunity to further own my voice.

Additionally, because they’re both intertwined, the universe was also teaching me to own my worth with the builder concerning the surprises that kept coming up, which were never disclosed.  The first time I expressed concern, they seemed to react and acknowledge.  I thought, all right, good, we’re back on track.

But then boom, another shock happened. Like two weeks later I expressed my concern again. Did I get much of a reply or acknowledgement around that? Nope. And then literally a couple of days later, boom, a 3rd surprise.  I expressed my concern again a 3rd time and then the reply I got from the builder was…”Oh, I’m really busy right now, I may have 10 min.”  Oh really, I thought.  I’m investing thousands of dollars and you’re too busy. Guess what? I went into the next corrective action on owning my voice and owning my worth.

I employed a technique called “3 Strikes and You’re OUT” and it’s around having healthy boundaries. I did a special training with my Love Goddess students.  In a nutshell, you express yourself three times, and if they don’t respect what you say, after the 3rd time, they’re gone, they’re out. I have been doing that for decades when it came to personal relationships, but it only was this past year, in this digital nomad experience that I started to apply this to businesses and even friendships – in all areas.

That is what I did. Three strikes, boom, they are out.  One of the things they did was not respecting my investment allocation I had for this project. It actually came in almost twice my budget, and that was insulting to me.  Then the next thing they didn’t respect was my time, because time is money.   I was actually losing money because of bouncing around from all of these different locations.  It was affecting my ability to be consistent and my business.  If they’re not respecting what I’m saying, then they’re not respecting me.

As a project manager, I said, okay, when I was in corporate, what did I do?  When there is a bottleneck, there are two things you do in project management, you attempt to correct the bottleneck, which is what I was trying to do. But if it can’t be corrected, you replace the bottleneck. And so that’s exactly what I did. I thought for 5 min, oh my God did I waste my time for a year?  I replied “No”.  I didn’t waste time because I was able to get a beautiful design, I was able to crystallize my vision with the first builder.   Since the vision came out of my brain, I can replicate it with somebody else.  So that leads to the 2nd question that you ask yourself to turn disappointment into an opportunity.

I asked myself, “How can I be creative?”  See, that’s where the opportunity is, in how can you be creative; how can you think outside the box?  I invite you to try this on for size for yourself.  Like I said, the 1st thing in how I can be creative is to replicate my vision with a new builder because that came out of my head.  In that moment, the disappointment turned into an opportunity.

This was an opportunity for a do over.  I told myself, I love the design I envisioned with builder number one, so how can I reimagine that? I looked at other builders, I actually brought back into play a builder I was considering the 1st time.  I brought them back and realized this is an opportunity for a do over with them.

I decided to shift my perspective.  This is how.  I said, okay, the first time I was dealing with this other builder, I was caught up with what they couldn’t do.  Now that I’m being given the opportunity for a do over, I’m focused on what can they do?  This is the opposite of how I was thinking the last time. Now I’m focused on what can they do? And here’s the surprises I found out in a matter of two weeks.

This builder, I considered over a year ago, COULD/CAN do way more than I thought they could do, but I couldn’t see it at the time. But I could see it now.  It’s because I shifted my focus on CAN vs can’t. This is how you turn lemons into lemonade. You shift your mindset.  To have fun I said, “You know what? This is giving you the opportunity to be your own project manager, like you’re an HGTV Star.”

Because I felt as if I was on a design show since this was the first time I went through a design process with the first builder, I thought it was so much fun and invigorating.  I learned a lot and I say, Okay, just pretend like you’re on HGTV.  I was in Lowe’s, Home Depot, at design centers, all these different places.  It turned this experience into fun and excitement.

That disappointment that I was experiencing from the 1st builder dissipated, totally dissipated.

Yes, I felt the feelings of that disappointment, but I quickly went into opportunity.  Here was the next shocker. I have been saying this whole experience for me is luxury for less. In my mind, I thought luxury for less was, I can have certain luxuries in my home because I’m building a tiny mansion, so it’s a smaller footprint, so it’s going to be less money.

That is what my thinking was. However, this is what the universe was truly thinking.  When I got the pricing from the builder #2, who I just went into contact with, the price was over $100,000 LESS than with builder number one. I was in total disbelief, I was in total shock, I was even shaking. I had to sit down and I contacted the dealer. I said, okay, is this real? Something must be missing in this?

How can this be? I was in total disbelief. And they’re like, “No, that is what it is.”  When I looked at the differences, I saw that builder #1 was nickel and diming me like how the airlines are now where you buy a plane ticket, but then you have to pay for your freaking seat.  What are you going to do, sit on the wing, or just hold on to the wing of the plane so you can get to where you have to go? It’s ridiculous, but that’s what they’re doing now, at least here in the States, with, the airlines.

This is how builder #1 was. Selling me a house where I had to pay incremental for windows. Whereas with builder #2 the windows are included in the base price of the house, go figure. That’s what the big differences were and I was flabbergasted. And that’s when I noticed the universe is giving me exactly what I wanted “luxury for less”.  I got the luxury design with builder number one, and now builder number two is doing it for significantly less.

That is what luxury for less is.  I invite you to look at this even more closely within your own life. This digital nomad experience has definitely taught me this.  The universe does give us what we want. Rarely does it look like how we expect it to look, and that’s being attached to the plan. Expecting it to look a particular way.  If I stayed stuck to how I wanted it to look I would have lost so much money, I would be in total anxiety and worry right now, and I would not be sharing this wisdom with either.

That’s the gift of flexibility, right there.  The more you do this, asking yourself those two questions when you want to turn disappointment into opportunity or when things don’t go according to plan; What am I supposed to learn from this? And how can I be creative? That is, when you step into the empowering lesson of flexibility that will make your life significantly easier and anxiety will be a thing of the past.  I invite you to do those things right here, right now if anything in your life is causing you disappointment.

All right. And that’s the wisdom I want to share with you.  If you want to make a shift in your life, if you want to turn disappointment into opportunities so you can up level your experiences and step into thriving, I invite you to give me a buzz and send me an email at ‘’ or visit me on my website at ‘’ and let’s have a chat so that you can experience more flexibility, flow, joy and opportunities in your life.  With that we’re complete and Namaste.

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