Thinking It Out Loud

Who’s Your Daddy?

“What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.”
C.S. Lewis, The Magician’s Nephew

So….. who is your daddy? Your daddy being the predominant belief system you view life through.  Where do you stand? In happiness or sadness? What do your thoughts tell you about the world around you? Are we going to hell in a hand basket or are we on our way to the greatest part of humanity? The people in your life:  Are those people lifting you up or tearing your down?  Do you think you are shaping your life or is your life shaping you?  When your car breaks down is it just life and you roll on or is the universe proving that once again, you just can’t get ahead?

Perception is where facts and feelings meet.  The road that bridges the heart and the brain so to speak.  I am ruled heavily by my heart.  I believe in my gut and I believe that overall life is pretty great and that people want to do whats best for themselves and others.  Before you say it…my own mother tells me I am a Pollyanna.  Not sure know what that is?

Pollyanna:  someone who thinks good things will always happen and finds something good in everything. Source: Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary.

Totally sounds disgusting doesn’t it?  When I read the definition I rolled my eyes at myself.  Here is the flip side of that perception I live in.  Anger, sadness, hurt, and downright tragedy are truly hard for me to process.  For myself.  I have this innate manner that demands I push through those feelings as fast as I can so I can be happy again.  That sounds good right?  But what if, like the movie “Inside Out”, my refusal to go through all the “bad things” is holding me back?  Can you relate?  Perception.  Where our insides show themselves really. perception-reflection

I have been thinking a lot about perception during this election season.  *Side note…regardless of who we all voted for, aren’t we all SOOOOO glad it is over.  I couldn’t take another advertisement demanding that MY perception of either candidate fall in line with the mostly emotional hogwash the other was painting their opponent as.  Because lets be clear…if the two mainstream candidates where, in fact, as bad as the other said….whoa.  Which brings me back to perception.

Right now, in the United States, the transfer of the highest office has begun.  Teams and policies are being crafted.  But NO power has actually changed hands.   It won’t until January 20th of 2017.  And all around me I have friends that have already perceived and accepted as fact  what they believe will happen as a result of this presidency.  Some are certain that we are headed towards a white supremacy nation, homosexual hating,  unequal rights, nation with the worst corruption in our history.  Some believe that our ship is about to be put back on course with opportunities for jobs and industries exploding and our country once again becoming self sufficient.  And the only thing those two camps of thought have in common?

Donald Trump won the presidency of the United States.

Yep, one thing.  And now two completely, not even in the same solar system, schools of “thought”. That leaves no room for the others view. In case you don’t already know this…that is a lose/lose situation.  By the way, I seem to be related to both camps.  And I thank God for that very fact.  Because hearing both views gives me better insight to the world around me.  And that is always a good thing.  Always.

So what can we do to expand our perceptions?  This doesn’t mean giving up on what your believe or your world view.  I have not intention of being any less of a Pollyanna.  But I can become a stronger person, wife, mother, business owner, friend, daughter, and individual by doing a few things:

  1. Make new friends.  It is scientifically PROVEN that new relationships grow our brain.  New relationships help us to hear and see new things and think new thoughts.  New experiences and new thoughts give us different views.  And even if we don’t agree with the view point, our perception has been expanded.
  2. Travel to different countries or different regions inside your own country.  If this election taught us anything its how different the cities and so called rural areas think.  And for those of you thinking “yeah, those people need to come here”…well try this on for size.  Why don’t you go to “them” whoever the them is.
  3. Study new subjects.  Subjects your know nothing about.  This once again gives us the new thoughts but it ALSO gives us confidence.  When we know more we carry a certain confidence with us and confidence gives us the ability to try more new things.  See what I did there?
  4. Take a breath before you “argue back”.  This is my Achilles heel!  Once my switch has been flipped I tend to forget to breath and go “for the win”.  Demanding that others bow to my “knowledge” in an argument doesn’t have anything to do with making valid points or expanding my perception or anyone else’s.
  5. Journal.  UGH!  I was wrong, this is my ACHILLES heel.  I can’t lie to you guys.  I don’t do this one consistently enough but the thought is that if you journal daily or every other day that your journal will mirror to you what you really believe about your life, past and present.  I would love to hear from some of your diary writers on this point!


I am truly grateful for the experiences and people in my life that constantly expose me and open me to new view points.  I come at life from a positive place.  I just  do.  I understand that I have the benefit of being born into a family that has loved me from day 1 and when you know you are loved you can move mountains.  So my final piece of advice today…if you are reading this right now and thinking to yourself “my life sucks” find a way, any way, to make someone else’s day better and brighter.  Because being loved is great, but bringing the love changes the world.

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Entrepreneur Spotlight: Carisa Stark


Q&A with Carisa Stark.  Carisa is the owner/operator of MaryJane Burgers and Brews and Jackson Street BrewCo in Perryville, MO.  Perryville is a small town approximately 70 miles south of St. Louis.  Known primarily as a small farming community, MaryJane Burgers and Brew has put Perryville on the foodie and libertine map.

  “Mary Jane was created to display our passion for fresh, local ingredients prepared into stunning dishes and paired with amazingly delicious craft beer. We pride ourselves by using only the freshest ingredients. We buy local when possible to support our small town economy. Our burgers are prepared fresh daily using Midwest-raised cattle, no GMOs, no antibiotics and are accompanied with fresh-baked buns.”

Typical pub fare with a flair..everything from street tacos, in house salsa, to burgers with everything AND the kitchen sink…all in a cool vibe with functioning garage doors that open the restaurant up to let the outside in.  Beer club, a changing bar menu, and an on site party suite make this small town gem a destination for weddings, reunions, and a local watering hole.  With the addition of her own brewery, Jackson BrewCo, and the rotating 20 taps, MaryJanes is a great place to indulge and enjoy the day or evening with friends.

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Entrepreneur Spotlight: Autumn Masterson Pettit

Q&A with Autumn Masterson Pettit.  Owner of Private Correctional Services. PCS works with non violent offenders through the court system and monitors drug and alcohol abuse  through drug tests and breathalyzers, ankle bracelets for house arrest’s, and provides contracted probation services to the courts.

Basically Autumn is a bad ass with dimples and a soft spoken manner.  Some might say a pretty version of Dog the Bounty Hunter.  I just call her my friend.  Autumn is a vegetarian, animal lover (ALL kinds) and wife and mother as well as business owner.

Q: How did you come into the business of private corrections?

When I was in college I had an interest in law enforcement. Unfortunately, that career path required weekend and night work. I waited tables through college and was keenly aware that night, private events, and holidays was something I didn’t want to work on. So, I opted for corrections. I started my first job in the field at a private agency in 2007 and worked there for two years before being hired on with the Board of Probation and Parole in Caruthersville, MO. In  2007, an opportunity became available to bid on the contract for the private agency that I once worked for. I decided to create a bid and relay how I felt a probation office should be ran. I was awarded the bid in 2007.

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Entrepreneur Spotlight: Dr. Monique Carlisle Johnson

Q&A with Dr. Monique Carlisle Johnson, owner of MCJ Consulting.  Based in the Cincinnati area, Monique works with schools and organizations and individuals who are ready to improve, grow, and change in ways that make a difference in the world.  MJC  Consulting is especially committed to full customized counsel, guidance, and support to educational organizations focused on student success.

Among other achievements Monique has her doctorate in Counselor Education with a focus in Higher Education Administration and a minor in Human Resource Development for Trainers, The Pennsylvania State University.

*Editors privilege:  When you meet Monique you can’t help but know that she is committed to what her role is.  I love to give this example of how she and her family live.  She and I were GS leaders together on an overnight camp out.  Camping is NOT Monique’s thing.  When she told her husband that “camping is for the birds” his response sums up their family mantra:  “So be a bird then”.  And you know what…she was a bird.  She cooked out, hiked, and sang songs like her entire heart was in it.  Because that is who she is.  Committed to the role she is in and gets the job done.

Q: Did you always want to have your own business?

No, I describe myself as the accidental entrepreneur. After being hired as a consultant (independent contractor) by the local school district two years ago, I realized that I was a business owner but did not see myself in that way.
 Over the past year, I began studying entrepreneurship and had an inspiring encounter with a retired Principal who inspired me to own it. MCJ Consulting was born in June of 2016.
I’m no stranger to business ownership.  My husband and I have owned a rental property business for the past 14 years.  He’s always been very entrepreneurial and owning real estate was a goal of his.  We bought our first home in 2002 and we now have 18 homes. We work together to manage the properties.


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The Face of Female Ambition


Yes, I know that picture I chose is huge.  Its a little in your face…and that is the point.

Did you know that right now, based on a title that includes the words “female” and “ambition” there are people that just said, nope.  Not gonna read it.  Why?  Somewhere in our psyche we have this crazy notion that women + ambition= bitch. Click To Tweet So I guess that must be me. Cause I am definitely a women with ambition.  Ambition to be kind, funny, charitable, financially wealthy, a life of time freedom choices, and an ambition to be in the public eye.  There I said it…now you know I want to be a YouTube star..except I am about 20 years to old for that I think.  Maybe I can get the daughters…kidding!

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Knock Knock

“The outcome is not up to you. The outlook is.”
Germany Kent

Quick!  Write down the last 3 opportunities that came your way.  I mean it.  Don’t over think it.  What were they?  An unexpected night out to relax?  A new career path?  Maybe something in the form of a new relationship.  How did you respond?  Did you think it over carefully or just answer?  More importantly…did you say yes?  Have you ever given any thought to what a day would look like if you said “YES” to every opportunity that came your way?

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