Natural Reflectors explores the idea of how can we instill in our actions a mindset of intentional reflection taken from the power of nature’s cycles. We can look to nature for inspiration, but like any other new challenge, creating your own process can feel awkward. With practice, we can make it our approach to everything. We can shift our mindset, play the long game, and become natural reflectors. Artist’s Statement Life can be complex even in the best of times and in the details of the complexity, the beauty of the bigger picture can be lost. While each person’s experience is unique, there are similarities, like relationships, pain, and happiness. Discovering those similarities often can bring one hope and help one to see how layers of experience ultimately create a beautiful life. Each piece of my thread art creates a unique form from layers of intricate geometric patterns. Move in closer to look at the details and maybe even follow the path of a thread or two. Move further away to realize the essence of the work.
Email is email@example.com
[00:00:00] Ed Watters: To overcome you must educate. Educate not only yourself, but educate anyone seeking to learn. We are all Dead America, we can all learn something. To learn we must challenge what we already understand, the way we do that is through conversation. Sometimes we have conversations with others, however, some of the best conversations happen with ourself. Reach out and challenge yourself.
[00:00:49] Let’s dive in and learn something right now.
[00:00:57] Today we are speaking with Jennifer Peavey. She is a thought leader, a designer, an author, and an artist. Jennifer, could you please introduce yourself, let people know just a little more about you please?
[00:01:11] Jennifer Peavey: Yeah,
[00:01:11] absolutely. Yes, Jennifer Peavey, um, I come from a varied background, which is one reason there’s so many different titles to me.
[00:01:18] I started off in engineering, and went into innovation management, and then went into industrial design. I know that seems a bit scattered, it really was more about a curiosity I have for learning, and then also an urgency, or a need, or a want to be able to offer all of myself to the table. What I found is when I was an engineer, that was only part of me and innovation was a little bit more, but it was still only a part of me.
[00:01:44] And then when I found industrial design, I felt like I was able to bring that techie side, that creative side, and then this fascination with why people do things side of me all together. Um, and so it’s been a journey on being able to do that. Um, part of it is, the reason people like to work with me is because I think differently and I tend to put things together,
[00:02:09] so that’s one reason. I also said thought leader and now an author, just putting some of those thoughts out into the world.
[00:02:16] Ed Watters: Well, that’s interesting because a thought leader is very much needed in the world today. What, what brings you to that realm of thinking? Why do you want to be a thought leader?
[00:02:31] Jennifer Peavey: I think part of it is because I do know, I think differently than other people. Part of it is, um, Myers Briggs,
[00:02:37] I’m an I N T J, which I know I’m only about 2% of the population. Part of it is the way I view the world as a little bit different, part of it is, my varied background allows me to take, um, and put non-obvious connections together. Um, I really didn’t know that until I had read, um, 10 Faces Of Innovation by Ted Kelly or Tom Kelly from IDEO in San Francisco.
[00:03:01] And he talked about one of those faces was the cross pollinator, so almost like a bee taking pollen from one place and bringing it to another, is I would see that these two things go together. And I’ll be quite honest, it probably took me 15 years before I realized that was a unique thing. I thought everybody did that.
[00:03:19] Um, I just, I would put these two things together and I was like, okay, yeah. And then it was at that point in my career where we were actually looking at patents, I had a patent lawyer go, no, Jennifer, that is non obvious and that is patentable. And I went, really? Putting, you know, it was just putting two things together that had never been together before.
[00:03:35] So I feel like that, um, that was something unique about me. when I share that with people, going back to your question on why I put it out there, when I share those kinds of thoughts with people there’s always this aha moment where you can see people light up. And typically it’s about something they’re stuck on, something that they’re hoping to be able to resolve.
[00:03:58] And they’re just talking through it and I’ll say, well, have you thought about this? Or, you know, you could do that. And putting those two things together, they suddenly see this world open up to them. Now they don’t always take exactly what I said, but the fact that the world has opened up to them is something that gets ’em very excited and they see new possibilities.
[00:04:18] So while being a thought leader, I don’t know that my thoughts are what people need, but I do know that they need to think differently. They’re, a lot of people are stuck and they just need a little nudge to be able to get going again.
[00:04:32] Ed Watters: Yeah, I’m with you on that. Uh, that’s why we basically started the Dead America Podcast because everybody’s feeling kind of in that Merck, you know?
[00:04:41] And thought is really not one of those things a lot of people aren’t critical at anymore. And they, they really tend to shy from judging themselves, which really, I think we need to do a lot more in this world. [00:05:00] I, I find it fascinating how you take your book, Natural Reflectors, and you, you have this
[00:05:09] uh, outlook as phases and cycles in everything in our world and how we interact with the world. Could you talk about that with us?
[00:05:22] Jennifer Peavey: Sure. Um, when I started this whole journey of writing the book, um, it was coming from a time period during the pandemic where I had gone into it, um, I was seeking a job but I didn’t have one locked down.
[00:05:36] And of course, as we went into lockdown, that became very difficult to get that cuz everybody wasn’t sure what was happening. Do we need this position or not? So I felt like I had a blank sheet of paper available to me. And while I had choices in my life I could take, I had never completely had a blank sheet of paper.
[00:05:55] I was still looking at other things and this was a nice time for me to stop and go, what do I really wanna do? And so I did a lot of reflecting on what my options were and that’s one of those things that you, that you really need to be able to do. It’s not just, um, logically think about it, but how do you feel about your options?
[00:06:12] What does your gut tell you about your options? Because those two together can help create some wonderful high quality decisions. I didn’t know that when I started this whole journey, but I learned it as I went along. During that time period, I created a structure and a lot of it was based on cycles,
[00:06:29] like you say, where I was prototyping a, a particular process for myself. And if it went well or parts of it went well, then I would continue it in the next cycle or I would try something new in that next cycle. And I just found there was a, there was a powerful time of being able to go through these cycles.
[00:06:47] The other thing I found was that each cycle built on the last one. So I was able to look at systems a lot larger and see how things interacted. So part of that was understanding what was I really good at? And then therefore, what I was trying to offer the world might be what they say they need, but I was just competing with, you know, a hundred thousand people that were just all average and I was average with them, you know, type of thing.
[00:07:13] But if I look for what I was really good at, or what did I, what my superpower was, or what came naturally to me, then I would probably excel or felt I would excel a whole lot more. But I needed to be able to articulate that, so that was part of that reflection time. Um, and that, and those cycles on trying it out, seeing if that really was something, and being able to test it, and prototype it with each of those cycles.
[00:07:40] Part of the journey with the book was, it initially started with my particular journey of those cycles and that structure. As I began to write the book and was getting a lot of feedback, what I found was that, the feedback was that I needed to expand it more about people being able to develop their own process. Cycles is what’s resonated with me
[00:08:01] and I particularly, um, was looking at how nature used cycles to inspire me on how to use cycles and, and the particular one was the moon cycle. It may not be everybody’s ball of wax or what they wanna be able to do, there may be something else that works better for them. So the book was more about looking at how to develop a process, how to look to nature for inspiration, and inspiring, and hopefully helping people see that they do have a chance of doing this.
[00:08:29] And they could look towards it thinking differently about how they did things rather than what we’ve always been taught and told.
[00:08:37] Ed Watters: That’s a good point. You know, thinking outside of the box can really change the world and it’s unique that you bring the moon phase into it because actually that controls the tides and emotions.
[00:08:53] I, I’ve noticed, you know, these cycles and I’ve witnessed where these tidal pulls can actually pull emotions on people, too. So it’s not only with planets and celestial body, bodies that these things affect. So I’ve, I’ve been talking to a lot of people about ley lines, and energies, and all of these things that really truly affect us. Because it’s kind of
[00:09:25] miraculous how we can have wireless things just float through the air and we grab it on the other side. So all of these things are in our universe and it’s a big thing to think about.
[00:09:41] Jennifer Peavey: Definitely. And, and it can be something that we don’t realize, or we assume is not part of our lives, you know, cuz we, particularly those in urban environments, tend to live in these, inside of these insularity environments or our [00:10:00] own built environments. And this idea that what is happening outside and whether it has anything to do with me or not, or it’s just a luxury, it’s something that you do on the weekends, or it’s something you do on the, on vacation that you really don’t think about that influencing you.
[00:10:17] And I think that that’s part of, the beginning of the book is all about how to stave off burnout and why are we in this state where we don’t know that it is going on. And I think that’s part of the, the assumption, or that outside the box, or changing the paradigm, whatever we wanna say, is this idea that we are connected.
[00:10:35] We are influenced by what is going on and we can choose to fight it or not fight it. But I feel like we spend so much of our time inside, in our worlds that we almost feel like we’re a brain that is floating around in a machine. And we just assume that this machine is going to do everything that its always done.
[00:10:57] And then of course you wake up at 50 and you’re like, what happened? Why did this betray me? But we want to know, or want to connect, or at least what I found was, what I am really good at. If I could align myself what, what, with what was going on in nature, whether that be the moon cycles, whether that be the seasons, whether that be the, the light of a single day, whether I take inspiration based on how the squirrels are, you know, getting ready for winter and maybe I should get ready for hard times.
[00:11:28] I can smooth out the aspects of my life, I can see how systems are interrelated and then therefore maybe not control it, but at least roll with it. There are times when things are hard to do and it might be because I’m fighting something, I’m fighting my own energy. I’m at a low point, you know, when it’s dark in the winter, it’s really hard to do things.
[00:11:54] And that’s one of those why in the world we do new year’s resolutions in January? I have no idea, it is the worst time when we don’t feel like doing anything new. You feel like doing something new in the spring when it’s, when it’s bright and there’s more sunshine, and, and there’s warmth outside, and that’s when we should be doing new year’s resolutions.
[00:12:14] But yet, for some reason, you know, historically we put it in January and therefore we’re gonna do it. Which may contribute to why so many people fail at it. We’re, we’re fighting what, what feels good and what is a better option.
[00:12:28] Ed Watters: That’s so, so unique and interesting because it’s, it’s, we are on a cycle. In the summer,
[00:12:36] we have a lot more energy. We’re supposed to be out in the fields doing our thing, you know, cultivating, growing those crops for a long winter’s nap. And during the winter, we’re supposed to rest, and really enjoy our time, and put that fat back on for the next spring when we have to work it off.
[00:12:59] Nature is a cycle and I’m so glad somebody is actually bringing this up. Uh, your book, Natural Reflectors, why was it named Natural Reflectors?
[00:13:13] Jennifer Peavey: Part of it was that, um, it started off with I being an I N T J my intuition is very high and I knew that was part of my superpower. And I wanted to make sure that when I was looking at all my options on what to do next, that I spent time reflecting on what I was going to do.
[00:13:32] It wasn’t just meditating for the sake of meditating, it was actually considering and looking at my options, how do I feel about it? How does this all go together? It was very intentional. And as I began to study that, what I found was that I, a healthy process really should have elements of reflection and action.
[00:13:52] Now, going back to what I did was I was looking at the moon as a timepiece. And I would say that the light of the moon would tell me how much action and how much reflection. And what I said was, when it is dark with the new moon is when I would spend a lot of time with reflection, which right now we’re about to go into a new moon,
[00:14:12] and so that’s, I’m starting to gear down away from acting and I’m about to review my entire, um, my entire last moon and see how things went. I then start dreaming and that’s part of the reflection too. What would I like the next moon to be? And I start setting intentions and as I go through the moon, I begin prototyping as the light starts getting brighter and brighter.
[00:14:33] And when I get to a full moon is when the action is at its highest. This is when, okay, I’ve done all of these things. What did it mean? Did I meet my intention? Is it good? Is it not so good? Did I like it? Did it work? Do I wanna continue this or not? And then as the light starts fading is when I start assessing, what am I gonna carry forward?
[00:14:54] What do I need to document? How do I need to clean things up so that I can get ready for the next moon? [00:15:00] And that’s part of that cycle is there, is this moment of you hit this time, this climax so to speak with the, with the full moon that allows me to stop and say, did I make the bite that I wanted to make out of the project?
[00:15:15] And that’s really what each cycle is, is I might have a larger project that goes through the year but then this is that bite of it. And I, I’m taking smaller bites that allow me to put this system together. Um, the reason I called it Natural Reflectors is because I did spend a lot of time looking at nature for myself and I spend a whole part of the book
[00:15:36] talking about how we can look to nature for inspiration. And it could be things like cycles, it could be things like, um, how a tree grows, or how a plant grows roots. And there is a chemical cycle, a self-reinforcing cycle where it sends out a sensor to see if there’s calcium up ahead in the soil. And if there’s not, the roots will not grow in that direction.
[00:16:00] It will actually grow in the direction it can find the calcium. So that could be a metaphor that says don’t bang your head against the brick wall. You know, it’s, it’s stopped before you get there and move to where the nourishment is or some people advise me, where the energy is. You know, if there’s a lot of energy around something, go that way don’t fight it. Kind of like let’s do new year’s resolutions when we feel the energy in the spring, you know, as opposed to let’s do it now in January.
[00:16:26] Um, but that was the reason Natural Reflectors is to say let’s not only reflect and act, let’s look to nature on how it’s done. Because it’s been done for however long and done very successfully.
[00:16:38] Ed Watters: So you help people identify how to stave off burnout through this systematic approach and engineers are wonderful at that.
[00:16:50] You know, they’re all about systems and analysis, numbers and facts. Uh, I think it’s kind of cool. How, how do you help people reflect? Is there a system you use? Is there a process you use with that?
[00:17:08] Jennifer Peavey: Part of it is again finding, so it’s almost a process within a process. So there’s a practice on what are you going to reflect and how are you going to reflect?
[00:17:17] So personally, I have a, a time every day that I begin the day and it’s more of a check-in. I like to say, it’s almost like driving down the road and, and I’m on the east coast. And we have the Appalachian mountains that have a lot of switch and turns and that type of thing, cuz they’re very old mountains.
[00:17:34] And when you’re driving along, there will be to the right, it’s a sheer cliff that goes right off and then you’ve got the mountain going up to the right or to the left. And I say reflection is almost like this idea of checking in with the rear view mirror to see what’s behind you, you know, paying attention to how the road is changing in front of you, checking in with yourself.
[00:17:55] Do I really need to stop and get a cup of coffee? You know, am I awake enough to be able to handle this for the next hundred miles, however long it is. This, this reflection I practice in the morning is just a little nudge just to check in. Because a lot of people, when I talk about this, they’re like, oh, there is no way in the world
[00:18:13] I could take hours upon hours or weekends off. All these, they think like a Monk, that we need to spend six hours a day doing this. And I say, well, just stop for 15 minutes and check in with these types of things. And I help people go through and say, okay, what kinds of things would you wanna check? For me, I, I have a list of prompts,
[00:18:31] I have four different prompts and then I let my, my brain go wherever it wants to go, whatever it’s chewing on. But my prompts start off with what is my energy level? How am I feeling today? And I assign a number to it and it’s from a zero to a hundred. And you know, if I’m below 50, It’s time to stop, meaning you really need to worry about it.
[00:18:50] But I like to sit there and, and think about and track it and go, that might be the engineer thing, but if, if I have a day that’s gone up in number, I wanna know why, because I’d like to repeat that. I then have a prompt of what am I grateful for? and then I have a prompt, I call it faith, but it’s really about what am I uncomfortable about or what am I scared about?
[00:19:12] And then what I do is I flip it around and give myself a statement of faith to say, you can handle this, or you will be good at this, or you are capable of this. Um, or you are valuable if, you know, somebody said something nasty to me the day before, you know, then I can, I can give myself self assurance. And then the last thing it’s labeled as desire, but it comes down to what do I need today
[00:19:36] to nourish me? And it might be, I need to have a good meal, or I need to go for a nice walk with my dog, or I need to get outside because I’ve been inside too much and I need to get some vitamin D with some sunshine, you know, that type of thing. It might be that I need to weave, or I just need some downtime.
[00:19:54] Um, that is a, that is what I find is a simple way to start. And I [00:20:00] think that’s the hardest part is people are not sure how they are going to begin this enormous thing. and once there is something that is happening, it’s almost like walking before running. Once you start doing something and it starts helping, or working, or you enjoy it,
[00:20:15] well, then I’m, I’m gonna take another bite and let me see if I, I can get something else. There again, I think we, we have such a short term view of the world, and we wanna consume things so quickly, that we also assume that when we build something that we’re gonna have to be quick about it as well. And I, I go back to this idea that we are building a wall out of bricks,
[00:20:37] and today is just that one brick that we need to worry about. And there are times that yes, we should back up maybe once a year, maybe as opposed to once a day, but maybe once a year, stop and look at that entire wall and see if we’re building that wall the way we want it to be, and then come back in and, and deal with the details.
[00:20:54] And that’s kind of the nice thing about cycles is you can come back out, come back in. You can worry about the details, you can worry about the strategy, you can, um, you can come in and out on how much is reflection, how much is action. You can come back in and out on how big, uh, a step you’re taking versus, you know, how minute a step you’re taking.
[00:21:17] And so that it just allows you to see what you’re doing, but the big thing is you get to see that you’re making progress and that helps people want to do more. And I think that’s the big thing that staves off burnout is you’re able to see that wall being built, you’re able to claim that progress, and you’re able to trust yourself that you are going to make progress in the future.
[00:21:43] Ed Watters: That’s so true. Uh, baby steps, you know, it gets us a long ways, but we don’t recognize how far are those baby steps take us sometimes. And that’s why it’s so important to look back and reflect and understand, wow, I’ve done a lot. You’re an artist, your brain is going in many different ways.
[00:22:10] Uh, the beautiful string art behind you,
[00:22:13] Jennifer Peavey: Thank you.
[00:22:13] Ed Watters: Could you talk about doing your string art? How does that represent itself in your world?
[00:22:22] Jennifer Peavey: So part of it, and in fact, these that are behind me were developing the process of making it. What I wanted to understand was what, what, what were the materials? How was I gonna put things together,
[00:22:36] you know, what was it going to be? So it was kind of funny that I, I seemed to be a process designer if we’re gonna call me anything. Um, a lot of these behind me are ones that, it’s not necessarily changing designs, it was things that were available on the internet that I was mimicking, um, very simple math and that type of thing.
[00:22:53] Um, part of what I was doing was also then in the iterations of my cycles. That was actually something I went through in 2020 was this particular process, little things like, okay, I know I want it to be black and white. I’m gonna use the, uh, a piece of wood that I was going to use for the, the, part of it.
[00:23:13] But let me just get one, we’ll just get one, take it off the wall. And so you can see I’ve got a, a two by piece of wood. So the idea was, well, am I gonna paint it? Then I have to wait for it to dry. I ended up deciding to actually wrap it in fabric. I’m not sure where, here’s the camera, it’s actually wrapped in fabric almost like a package.
[00:23:35] So that was one of those iterations of saying, what was I gonna do? I also wanted the nails, so this is string art in 3d, so there are nails and then the thread goes between it. I didn’t want you to see the nails, I didn’t want the nails to be something that distracted you, so those needed to be black. So part of it was okay, how are they gonna be black?
[00:23:56] Am I gonna paint them? Well, then again, I gotta wait for them to dry. I can buy them black, well, then they’re expensive. And so what I ended up doing was, um, going back to the engineering, was I heat treated steel in the oven and I ended up making them a really, really, really dark purple, they’re not quite black, but it gives the effect that I was looking for.
[00:24:18] That really what, all I want you to see is the string and the white, or the thread that’s, that’s in there. Um, my hope is then, or at least what I had hoped was, once I have these and I have my process, which I feel like there it is, I’ve just gave it to you what my process is. That I would start designing and then get the, um, the shape to come out,
[00:24:43] I was gonna start being very intentional. What I have found is that’s harder to do than it is to say, so I need to get back in the studio. The book kind of took some time off of me so I wasn’t able to necessarily get back in there. But, um, so anyway, [00:25:00] that’s, that’s part of where I am right now with that.
[00:25:02] It’s, it’s still learning and I think that’s, that’s true with anything, you’re you’re always still learning. One thing I did learn though, in the middle of the book, was to celebrate those monumental or those, they may not even be monumental, just celebrate the steps along the way. I got lost in the fact that I, the definition of a book was a hardbound cover in the bookstore,
[00:25:26] and I wasn’t celebrating the stories, and the chapters, and the manuscripts, which, you know, you’re looking at in my case, was an entire year up to two years. That’s a long time, you know, to be able to put something together. So I would like to celebrate my wall even though I’m not necessarily in a gallery or, you know, I’m not necessarily designing from scratch.
[00:25:50] I do think it’s a, it’s a great celebration, which is one reason I like to use it as my background.
[00:25:55] Ed Watters: And I think you should celebrate that, that’s part of the celebration of life seeing what we accomplish. And once we recognize our accomplishments, it shows our ability. I mean, those, those geometric shapes are not easy to do putting string on a board and especially around nails.
[00:26:19] You know, I’ve tried, I’m not good at that.
[00:26:25] Jennifer Peavey: but you do need to stick with what you’re good at.
[00:26:27] Ed Watters: Yeah. And that’s the point, you know, that’s what makes us happy and don’t be afraid to try new systems, processes, approaches. And most of all don’t be shy about meeting new people and being curious about what they have to offer this world.
[00:26:51] Jennifer Peavey: Absolutely.
[00:26:51] Ed Watters: Because it does make our life a lot more exciting, a lot more unique. How, how do you interact with people and what, what is the purpose of interaction to you?
[00:27:08] Jennifer Peavey: So, uh, this very classic I N T J, I am curious with how people think, and what they do, and why they’re motivated with what they do.
[00:27:19] I am not very good chit chat at a party, I, I would be a wallflower at the party. But you get in the corner and you wanna tell me about your life, dreams, and, and, and how you like to do things, and what makes you passionate, and what likes, what do you like to get up at four in the morning. I’m there and we could talk for hours about that.
[00:27:42] And I find that authenticity, people being able to articulate who they are, talk about their journey, you know. At a party when a brand new person I’ve met, I don’t get to necessarily do that, but I love to be able to invest the time with people to gain that kind of trust, and talk about their personal growth journey, and where have they been,
[00:28:04] and I love being able to share mine. And then, you know, we’re able to, to see where we are and cheer, be cheerleaders for each other in those moments that may not be so good or the moments that are great. Um, I particularly love that kind of connection with people and I, I crave it quite honestly. It’s, it’s something that, um, to me is very important.
[00:28:33] Ed Watters: Yeah. I think we’re a social being by nature and once, once we find ourselves in these urban environments where we’re, you know, stacked 10 high, 12 high, a hundred high in boxes and we are so close. I, I don’t know if we recognize how far from nature we truly have wandered and there’s purpose in everything as a being.
[00:29:05] I do, I have thought, I have capacity, with that I have hope. And a lot of us get stuck, I’ve been there myself many, many times banging the head against the wall. Why am I doing this? What am I doing? Should I be doing? How do we get over that type of a wall set up?
[00:29:33] Jennifer Peavey: So let’s go back to driving down the road, um, you’ve been checking in with yourself, or let’s say you’re on the phone and you’re having an argument with somebody and you’re distracted,
[00:29:43] you’re not, you’re not able to check in. And what you’re saying with the wall, it could be that you’ve driven off the road, or you’ve had to stop and you’re along the side of the road. Those are the moments that I think are, are burnout, particularly off the [00:30:00] cliff. And I go back to reflection is this moment of, where are you?
[00:30:04] Are you still on the road? But you really don’t know where you are, maybe you, you missed your turn and you’re 10 miles going the wrong way. Maybe you’re sitting on the side of the road, or maybe you’ve gone off the cliff trying to figure out where you are. And like when you talked about, you just don’t wanna do it.
[00:30:21] It, it comes back to energy level. What is it that is draining? What is it that is energizing? What is it that, um, maybe not, maybe it’s not draining, but what is it that is frustrating or angering? There’s a reason those, the burnout is lack of productivity, but it’s also this idea of separating yourself from the work.
[00:30:48] There is a reason you’re protecting yourself from it and it’s being able to figure out what that is, what it is about it. Um, it might be that your particular, um, ethos doesn’t align with the project, it could be the work, it could be the people, it could be, um, that you’ve given up something that you dreamt of a number of years ago. But it’s being able to get back to the point of finding something that will either get you off the cliff or back on the road,
[00:31:22] or wake up enough to realize that you missed your turn. And I, I think that’s the first step is being able to identify that and grab onto it. So, one reason I do like to journal, and some of it is just getting things out of my head, but in moments like that when I identify something, being able to write it down because things happen
[00:31:44] and a couple days later, I may forget. But if it’s that monumental, I need to be able to go back to it. And if I’ve written it down, I can go find it and get back to it and, and, and refocus on it again. Cause it may be something that’s very exciting in the moment or not exciting, but it’s, it’s an intense moment and I found it, but I may not be able to do anything about it immediately.
[00:32:05] It might take me some time and I think that’s what typically happens is, developing a process or getting out of burnout isn’t a light switch. It’s just like we were talking about building that wall, we’ve gotten ourselves into a situation that we’re gonna have to get ourselves back out of. Kind of like you missed your turn and you drove 10 extra miles.
[00:32:25] You’re gonna have to turn around and drive those 10 miles back to get back on your path that you wanted to be on. So it may take some time to get those 10 miles back and then be able to go and say, okay, this was the thing I need to deal with, or this is what my purpose is, or this is my passion, or this is what I wanna do.
[00:32:48] Ed Watters: Yeah. Keep the eye on the prize at the end, that’s, that’s the goal. What, what do you actually want out of life? Figure it out, find it, go get it, it doesn’t matter if you take a few shortcuts along the way because we all get lost that’s for sure. Jennifer, what can we find you doing in the future?
[00:33:11] And can we possibly be seeing a Reflections or a Reflector podcast coming?
[00:33:22] Jennifer Peavey: Well, I haven’t necessarily thought about podcasts, but I do have a YouTube channel. And one of the things that there, a number of options that I have at this point, um, one of them is, this all started as a workbook. And when I started showing the workbook to friends and I came across this author, author community at New Degree Press, which is who published me, um, they said, I really need to write a book and then get to the workbook.
[00:33:50] And so that’s part of actually what I’m doing in 2022 is developing my workbook and then I will start seeing what it would be for other people. And then, and then how would we would do that. In the meantime, what I have thought about doing, or what I am doing is I’m developing workshops. That way I can interact with people and see what resonates with them.
[00:34:13] And some of the output of that is, my hope is to be able to create, um, online versions of that in the YouTube area, where they would be videos. Um, and I feel like that there would definitely be a part that’s probably completely free and then there may be a paid part of it that’s more in depth for those that wanna go that way.
[00:34:31] Um, but right now that’s, that’s kind of the road that I’m going on. Um, I do have one more version right now. I have the, the ebook and the paperback, and I just finished the raw assets for the audiobook. So I’m real excited to see that come out probably next May.
[00:34:50] Ed Watters: So how has COVID interrupted your life and how have you kind of put up [00:35:00] the systems to block the negative and keep on the positive energy?
[00:35:06] Jennifer Peavey: And so really,
[00:35:07] Ed Watters: It’s a lot of negative.
[00:35:09] Jennifer Peavey: Absolutely. Um, well, I’ll be honest, in 2016 I shut off, um, news so that’s one thing that I did, but I, you know, I did that a long time ago. Um, what I find is then if, if it’s important enough, someone will tell me and that’s really where I think the most important news is. If it is, if it, if people are talking about it and it’s important enough for them to talk about, then it would be something I need to know.
[00:35:38] And then I might Google and I, I will actually dive into it if, if I have somebody talking about it. The structure was originally for me to try to figure out what I was going to do with this blank sheet of paper and then COVID happened. So there were these two things happening, A, you need to make money, but B, you’re supposed to be employed and I’m supposed to be employed,
[00:36:03] you know, the way I always have been employed. And part of the, the nice thing, I was one of those people that actually really enjoyed lockdown. Um, one of the nice things was that I was able to take the time or it gave me the time to be able to undo some of the ways I thought, like there was only one way for me to make money. That freelancing or having a portfolio of income, you know, that was not something that I would ever venture to do.
[00:36:35] But the pandemic allowed me to shift my thinking a different way. And I can tell you writing the book and because I’m with a hybrid publisher, I have to do all the marketing. So it’s, they call it author, um, not entrepreneur, it’s authorpreneur, so that you’re having to, to do all of the marketing, and, and the sales, and run your business and that type of thing. That has made me braver in other things
[00:37:00] so now I’m running an Airbnb, you know, now I have two or three clients freelancing, which I’ve become, I wouldn’t say more aggressive, but I, I’ve, I’ve, more accepting of those kinds of opportunities. And I view right now everyone as a client so that has given me a sense of power and a sense of control.
[00:37:20] And part of it came out of the structure, um, the structure when I was creating my workbook. Before I wrote Natural Reflectors, a lot of that was about, I wanted a portfolio of income so that I could have things that went well and things that didn’t go well, or I have things that are boring and that’s okay
[00:37:38] but it pays X, Y, Z number of bills. And that’s okay because I’ve got these other things that are more exciting to me as opposed to everything being in one basket. It also allowed me to see progress, if we go back to that brick wall, I could see things being built that allowed me to start to trust myself more.
[00:38:00] That also staved off a lot of negativity because then my, the voice in my head was not being so negative. Whether anybody was outside or not, I wasn’t absorbing whether they were being negative or not, because I knew I could claim the progress I was making and I was able to increase my own self trust.
[00:38:21] Now there are a ton of things that are not right, there is a huge mess in this room in particular and it’s really nice that you can’t see it, but it’s an absolute wreck with stuff all over the place. But I, when I see it, I go, you know, I know I’ll get to it, I don’t, there’s not a nagging voice in my head that says, oh, look what a pig you are or whatever it is.
[00:38:45] There’s, I’m able to say, I know I’ll get to it. And there were times during the pandemic where that voice would be yelling at me. And I’d say, you know, if it’s that important to you, then in the next moon, when we’re dreaming, we will lift it up into a higher priority if it’s that important. And that voice would go, oh, that’s true,
[00:39:05] and would stop nagging me. And so I find, even though, you know, you were asking about negativity on the outside, I spent a lot more time dealing with the negativity on the inside. And that has given me more peace and joy. And I, maybe I wouldn’t say boundaries, but at least helps when I hear things from the outside.
[00:39:28] Ed Watters: Well, I like that perception. That’s kind of cool actually, because we, we tend to always wanna gravitate towards the negative on the outside when we can be fixing that negative inside. I love that, that’s kind of cool. So do you have any call to action for our listeners?
[00:39:52] Jennifer Peavey: Well, I, I say, the first thing, and this always, I always get a lot of reaction is, busyness is a choice.[00:40:00]
[00:40:00] I don’t know how many people I’ll talk to and they’re telling me about, oh, I’m just going on and on and on about all the things going and I’ll, I’ll stop. And I go, you know, it is a choice and sometimes I get a lot of pushback. No I can’t, I have to, and all of this type of stuff, but it is a choice. And I’m not saying not to be busy, but if you claim it and choose it, if you’re happy, You know, working 80 hours a week, go for it.
[00:40:31] You know, I’m talking really to the people that aren’t happy and are burnt out and want to get back onto the road and engage with their life again. They want to do something meaningful, or they want to feel more purpose, or they just, in my, like with my case, I just wanna be happy. I’m really not all that worried about all the other things. I figure
[00:40:52] if I’m happy, then what I do will, will work out just fine. And I know a lot of that comes back to that sense of control, that sense of, of, um, pace. Doesn’t mean it’s not fast, but it’s not pushing, it’s not grinding, it’s looking for how to be more successful because we are less stressed.
[00:41:22] Ed Watters: That’s very, very good, you know, life makes us busy sometimes, but it is a choice and we truly need to remember that. How can people get ahold of you, connect with you, and get involved with what you’re doing, Jennifer?
[00:41:37] Jennifer Peavey: Sure. There’s my website, which jenniferpeavey.com. And then my social media handles are @jennifer.theblacklab.
[00:41:48] Ed Watters: It’s always a delight when we get a person like you on the podcast. Thank you so much for sharing your energy, your passion, and your wisdom here on the Dead America podcast.
[00:42:01] Jennifer Peavey: Ed, I was so glad to be here and I look forward to more discussion.
[00:42:08] Ed Watters: Awesome.
[00:42:12] Thank you for joining us today. If you found this podcast enlightening, entertaining, educational in any way, please share, like, subscribe, and join us right back here next week for another great episode of Dead America podcast. I’m Ed Watters your host, enjoy your afternoon wherever you may be.
Join the newsletter