Marisa Jones

and Robert dig into the challenges that women face when raised with the expectation of go to school, get married, and have kids. She wanted those things but she also wanted more. After writing her memoir she discovered the power of story and the power she had that could help others who were trapped by their stories

A little bit about Marisa...

Marisa Jones is a teacher, community builder and Mindset Coach. After leading a successful career as an architect and strategic advisor leading global multimillion dollar technology projects, she published her memoir “The Lotus Tattoo: One Woman’s Grit from Bully to Redemption” in 2019 and now focuses on helping women balance mental health challenges with career success.

She is a teacher, community builder and a survivor of domestic violence. She partners with corporations, non-profits, and healing practitioners to provide mentoring and coaching — through 1-1s and workshops —supporting positive mental health and personal growth.

Marisa’s signature program is for those seeking to find their purpose and authenticity in life. A 6-month intensive bootcamp, “Mindset Warrior: The Art of Intentional Thinking” focuses on healing the long- term effects of trauma and the behaviors, patterns, and decisions we make stemming from our childhood imprint.

Marisa is also the host of Women CEO In Reflection, a podcast where women business leaders of our world get candid about mental health.

Marisa currently lives in Colorado with her two teenage boys and their dogs.

Check out more of Marisa


LinkedIn: /marisa-jones

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Marisa Jones
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Show Notes

Robert Peterson  0:00  

Today's guest is Marisa Jones. Marisa is a teacher, community builder and mindset coach. After leading a successful career as an architect and strategic advisor, leading global multimillion dollar technology projects. She published her memoir, The Lotus tattoo, one woman's grit from bullied to redemption in 2019. And now focuses on helping women balance mental health challenges with career success. Versus also the host of women CEO and reflection, a podcast where women business leaders of our world get candid about mental health. Marisa currently lives in Colorado with her two teenage boys and their dogs. Marisa Jones and Robert dig into the challenges that women face when raised with the expectation of going to school, getting married and having kids. She wanted those things, but also wanted more. After writing her memoir, she discovered the power of story and the power she had that could help others who were trapped by their stories. Marisa, thank you so much for being on the show today. I'm so excited.

Marisa Jones  2:04  

Thank you. I'm so excited to be here. Awesome. Thanks, Robert.

Robert Peterson  2:07  

Absolutely. Each week, I left the game each week. I let the guests tell us a little bit about their entrepreneurial journey and kind of use that as a launching off point.

Marisa Jones  2:18  

Where do I begin?

Robert Peterson  2:24  

At the beginning?

Marisa Jones  2:26  

I was born a small young girl in New York. I grew up with Sicilian immigrant parents, and they had their own businesses growing up, real estate businesses. I started doing a lot of work for them as kids because they didn't speak English. We worked with accountants and attorneys, with the city and all of that, and we helped run their business. I never thought of it being an entrepreneur until I was older. For them, they put me in a box of, I'm a woman, so I had to get married and get pregnant and have kids. I didn't really have any aspirations of who to look up to. But my sister, she took steganography, and shorthand, and I thought it was pretty cool. I learned that and I got really good at it. I was aspiring to be a secretary, which was a big deal. Then I realized I had this tech side of me, that was really I love technology, I used to take apart radios and stuff as a kid. After I was, Oh, I can be a secretary, then I realized, Oh, my goodness, I can be a programmer. I bought myself a computer in the early 80s. I taught myself programming. That led me on my career path of delivering multimillion dollar global projects over my 30 year career. It was entrepreneurial, even though I worked for somebody else, being a consultant and a lead architect and a strategic advisor for C level executives and how to manage their data, you have to be in the entrepreneurial mindset. You have to be a visionary. I learned to be a visionary in that role. I always had, either work for a company or I did independent projects on my own, as part of that, that was my career. Then something happened in 2019. I published my memoir, and it took me on a completely new journey. Growing up in that Sicilian, immigrant family my father was also an abusive alcoholic. That brought on a lot of challenges, brought a lot of angst, hurt and trauma. I became a bully early on, took my anger out on other kids. Then as an adult, I took my anger out on other adults, also led me on a path of making really bad decisions. In my teens and 20s, I did a lot of drugs, I had this one side, I had this career path that was going great. I was excelling and making a name for myself, I was extremely well known in the industry, for my specialty. On the other side, I had this dark side of doing drugs, depression, suicide, PTSD, all of that, behind the scenes, shame and guilt that I was carrying. It wasn't until my 40s that I had what I call my mental breakdown, and I filed for divorce for my husband. I went on a self help journey

Marisa Jones  6:08  

I started to heal, and I wanted to know what it was like to be happy because I realized I had never really truly been happy in my life. My whole life was a mindset, and how to avoid all the chaos that was in my head. That was what my whole life spent was the burdens of the trauma and the anger and the overanalyzing and the negative self-talk and the hatred for myself, and the hatred for other people. Not really fully enjoying life. There were a series of events, but going through that downside, what was a real eye opener was I was emotionally detached from my own kids, I was a traveling consultant full time when they were young. Then I was going through depression, and I started drinking again. I was not there for them emotionally. I knew that it was unhealthy, and I knew I wasn't going to survive. I had to do something for them. I went, I tried everything: yoga, hypnotherapy, meditation, everything. I spent years on this journey until I was able to heal. My life is completely different. Now I'm a completely different person. When I wrote my memoir, it was triggered by my nutritionist.

Marisa Jones  7:44  

I had gone through some health issues, and I needed to change the way I ate and my, I took all of my Italian Sicilian cooking and all the recipes, and I converted them to gluten free and then to paleo. One day in a workshop, she said to me, you have a great story to tell about your food journey, why don't you talk about it. So I did. Then when I got home, I had an even better story. I've lived a really colorful life. It's time to get rid of the shame and talk about it. I published my memoir. That's how I met Polly, who was who introduced me to you, Robert. When I published my memoir, something happened. I started getting this drive to wanting to talk about my story more and talk about it in public and see if it resonated with people. In addition to that, I started having colleagues, male, female colleagues, friends, people that I hadn't heard from since high school, I finally got social media that I didn't I never had just coming out and telling me their skeletons in their closet, and just talking about it. I thought, wow, this is really powerful. These are things that these people, grown adults, have never talked to anyone about. Maybe their therapist, maybe their spouse, they just kept it in the closet. I thought this is really powerful when I'm doing it. I thought, maybe I can really do something out of this. I started writing courses and workshops, being in the IT space. I vote for it. It's a strategy on how to implement projects, multimillion dollar deals, and I was like, Well, how can I do that for myself instead of for someone else? That's where entrepreneurship really started focusing on myself instead of making money for someone else. I started thinking well. All my skills are: I can write workshops, I can come up with plans I can come up with, strategy and implementation and teaching at conferences, I would speak at conferences, why don't I just do it for my personal story. I developed some courses, I developed some some talks around mental health, I started partnering, in order to deliver an IT project, you have to partner you have to partner with vendors, you have to partner with the business different the business departments, you have to get buy in, you have to get everyone's engagement. I thought, why don't I do that in the mental health space? I started reaching out to domestic violence centers and mental health advocates and, and trauma specialists. I started reaching out to them and saying, What can we do together to help others?'' The response was tremendous. Now I do a lot of work with nonprofits of domestic violence, I do fundraisers, I do talks, I give my coaching program, my online coaching program, I have a self practice version of it, I give it to domestic violence shelters, and organizations. They can offer that to any one of their survivors for free. It's been tremendous. That's how I wound up working for myself. I launched my brand new podcast last night, called Women CEO and reflection. I am talking to women, business leaders across the globe, about mental health and their own mental health and personal growth journeys. I've got 60 Women on my calendar. 30 I've interviewed already, the other 30 are still in the camp, then this is all in my first interview was May 16. In two months, I've had 60 signups, and they just keep coming in every day. We launched last night. We had an online launch party, where some of the guests joined and talked about why they wanted to do the podcast. It's been an incredible journey. I'm loving every minute of it

Robert Peterson  12:18  

That's fantastic. You now understand the power story. Yes. The power of sharing your story. I do want to dig into that a little bit, let's talk about how telling your story of your past has allowed you to reframe it. You mentioned that you were carrying around all that negative self-talk, you were emotionally absent from your kids' lives. How has been telling your story and reframing it allowed you to make that mindset shift to the positive.

Marisa Jones  13:03  

I had to really do work on myself and accept responsibility and accountability for where I was at, I realized I had been living my whole life in this victim mindset. It wasn't serving me well. In a victim mindset, every decision you make, doesn't support you. In telling my story, I basically was taken accountability, for who I was, and where I got to where I was. That was huge, it's easy to blame the abuser. It's not to say they're not without punishment or not without fault. It's what you do with it. How you carry that. That's your own responsibility and accountability. I had to take ownership of my own life and say, if I'm going to do this, I have to do it myself. No one's going to save me. You hear that all the time. What does that really mean? That means speaking out loud, your truth and speaking out loud, your truth of your accountability, and what you would how you have wronged yourself. This is none of this is bad, but how you wronged yourself, so you can be aware of how you can better and help yourself. When you tell your story, you're owning up to it. Every time you tell your story. It's extremely powerful. If you think about it, it's kind of like how AAA works. If you go to AAA and I've never been to a meeting but if you go to AAA, you tell your story. You're owning your own failures in front of everyone. What it does is twofold. It helps you take accountability and take the next step forward, but it helps the people in the room who are listening to your story because you're inspiring them to do the same.

Robert Peterson  15:04  

Here's the piece of owning. Actually, the second chapter in my book, The entrepreneur mindset shift is on your ship, and taking responsibility for your life. In the victim mode. The victim mode, it's so easy to blame, blame your attacker, blame your father, blame your uncle, blame your parents, blame your neighbor, blame everybody, bullied you or bugged you or said you couldn't do it. Now we can't take away any of those events. I can't take away the fact that your father was abusive, or he assaulted you. I can't take away some of the evil things that have happened to people. What I can do is reframe the story. Reframing the story is basically saying this shit happened. Now I have a choice in how I look at that stuff and how I tell myself. The problem with the victim is that the victim says, oh, woe is me. I'm terrible. When you own it, and you can say, You know what this terrible thing happened to me. But I'm a conqueror. I'm a victor. I can use that to empower me to do something better. Absolutely, that's not to say that you don't need therapy. That's not to say that there isn't some work that has to be done to reframe that story. The challenge is that so many people think that we're trying to tell a lie. We're trying to lie to ourselves about our past. It's the exact opposite fight. We're trying to free ourselves from our past by accepting it, and saying, You know what, that sucked. 

Marisa Jones  16:55  

Because who you are. It's interesting, I love that you said reframe the story. The reason is, when I first wrote my first draft of my memoir, I wrote my story. It was from the victim mindset. Then I wrote my story again. It was the second half of the book. It was the new mindset.

Robert Peterson  17:15  

Powerful. Great job, Marisa

Marisa Jones  17:18  

I changed it because my editor was like, now it's confusing. Why am I jumping into a new story, and that's exactly what I reframed. What happened? What I've learned now is, it is part of who you are. I did a lot of work to be able to, I worked with editors to try to get it where it flows, where the good and the bad coexist. That's what we have a hard time, especially when you've been through any kind of trauma, or you have some negative burdens that you're carrying, we compartmentalize, it's bad, or it's good. When you integrate it as who you are and that's your whole self, that's your authentic self, the good and the bad. That's the mindset that has to change. When in order to be successful in order to find joy in order to be happy. It is who you are, there's no excuses. There's no good or bad. It's who you are, it's your makeup. When you have full awareness of who you are, the good and the bad, and you own that. I own if I get triggered by someone I own, if I can, if I allow this person into my life, I own if somebody makes me happy, if I spend more time with them, I own all of that. When you look at yourself as an entire, I say authentic soul. That's your mindset. That's how you can move forward, while you're still carrying it all, but it's a much lighter load, because it's more balanced now.

Robert Peterson  18:53  

You let go of all the darkness and evil of it. That's why the reframing is so important. Here's another piece. Let's talk about the power of forgiveness as a part of that reframing process. Our culture has taught us and you mentioned it earlier on when you said that doesn't mean that they're not responsible, that doesn't mean that they get off the hook. The difference is when you forgive, you're cutting those emotional ties to those people that have harmed you and hurt you. That's not to say that you don't even have to have a conversation with that person. You don't even have to do something different but how is forgiveness been a part of your journey in freeing your heart emotionally?

Marisa Jones  19:45  

Forgiveness, I used to hear, Oh, you have to forgive people and it makes you feel better. I used to go on never forgetting like there's no way an I for an eye, I'm Sicilian. I realized I had carried around so much anger from My father, that there was a time where I didn't talk to him for 18 years. For those 18 years, my mindset was the anger going to go away the day he dies. What happened was, during those 18 years, I would be driving in my car and having fights with him and screaming that and when he wasn't even there, I would have these imaginary fights, and I would scream out loud fighting with him, because I had so much anger. I realized I had to get rid of the anger, regardless of whether or not he was going to be in my life, I was able to forgive him. By looking at who he was, as an individual separate from who he was, as my father, and who he was, as an individual was a really broken man. He's still a broken man, but I have a relationship with him. I talk to my clients, you can have a healthy relationship with an unhealthy person. It's the expectations and the boundaries that you bring into that. You have to have forgiveness before you can do that. How I found forgiveness was having an open mind to who he was, as an individual, I separated the relationship to the end to the person who he was. I released my expectations of what I needed from him. What I needed from him was love and validation. For him to be supportive as a father, I knew I was never going to get that. I had to work on those things for myself, once I was able to strengthen that in myself, I was able to find forgiveness for him, and create a healthy relationship with him. It's funny, you said that, in my coaching program, I have a whole module that I help people find forgiveness for themselves, you also have to forgive yourself for the process. Then forgive them.

Robert Peterson  22:00  

There are so many cool things in there. When I describe it, I tell people that look, this resentment that you're holding on to is like a cord around your heart. Guess who has the guest who has the string, the end of that cord, the person that you're not forgiving. I love the example of you fighting with your father in the car, because that's exactly what's happening. Even though you haven't talked to him in 18 years, he still has a cord and he's pulling your heart all around and causing chaos. When you forgive, you're simply saying, I'm letting go of the power and influence this person has, and I'm cutting that cord to free my heart. It's so I love that example. That's such a great example of forgiveness is really a you and you deal. It's not about letting your father off the hook. I love what you shared. You've recognized that your father was doing the best that he could do with the tools that he had at the time. I know that most people that are victims that are hurt, and if you look at your hurt if you're focused on your hurt, it's really hard to see that the person that hurt you was doing the very best with the tools that they had at the time. It sounds ridiculous. If you dig into it, you recognize your dad was broken. He wasn't a broken man. He was trying to do the best he could as a dad at the time. The best he could do was not great. It was terrible. To recognize that the people we encounter in life and in business, in relationships, and marriages are simply trying to do the very best they can with the tools that they have. We have a very poorly equipped group of people.

Marisa Jones  23:58  

I will say there are exceptions to that. I'll tell you, if you're dealing with a narcissist, whether it's a spouse, that's different, because they're not coming from a place of hurt. They are coming from a place where they just don't have the capacity for empathy or compassion or understanding what they did. It's not to say that someone like my father, who was broken. He may not have that either, but it's because he's broken, but someone who's a narcissist, it's very difficult to find forgiveness. That's okay. You don't have to get to the place of forgiveness. As long as you release that cord, you have to find an end even if it's just saying and I've had to cut ties with narcissists and go, they just don't have the capacity to be a decent person. They're just manipulative, they're cruel, they don't have the capacity. I don't have to find forgiveness, but I have to release what they're given me and I don't. I no longer have to deal with that.

Robert Peterson  25:00  

We're definitely choosing, you have to choose to protect yourself. You have to put those boundaries in place to say, Look, you are not healthy for me, and I am no longer going to be in a relationship with you because it's all one way. It's all yours. That's not really a relationship. Absolutely not if there's a narcissist in your life, I definitely encourage you cut ties and run and get the help you need to not be bringing them back and allowing them to manipulate and the challenge for many is they see the potential in the narcissist, they see this potential this idea of good and that person doesn't really exist.

Marisa Jones  25:48  

Now when you leave a narcissist whether it's a parent or a spouse or something you're grieving, you're grieving the potential, you're grieving what you thought you were, you should have had from a parent or you thought you wanted to have in the future with a spouse. You have to allow yourself to heal from that. It's really hard to let that go. It takes time. As long as you have an awareness, and that's a lot of the stuff by teachers as long as you have an awareness of what that is, then you can get to that point of healing and you can get to that point of letting go and you have to be firm in yourself to not go back. 

Robert Peterson  26:31  

The challenge for many is that the narcissist seeks out that codependent that feeds their narcissistic tendencies, with the idea that the potential and the codependent is, Oh, if I just helped them a little bit. All they're doing is feeding the narcissist and causing more chaos. Get the help you need to get out and boundaries to protect yourself.

Marisa Jones  27:03  

Absolutely. That's the codependent is. That's the biggest thing when you've had trauma and you become codependent. That's the hardest thing to break. If you come up with and I've come up with a pretty decent way of releasing that, it's about your values, your expectations for people, your expectations for yourself, and knowing what your triggers are, if you can collectively identify that and scrutinize all of it, put it all together. Then when you put it all together, I call that your foundation of strength. When you have that, that's your GPS. Every decision you make, everything you do is based on your values, knowing what your expectations are modifying your expectations for other people, and knowing what your triggers are, when you align yourself to that. You can break that codependent habit and you can change the way you live.

Robert Peterson  28:01  

That's so powerful. Let's dig into boundaries a little bit more, what are the values of setting boundaries and for protecting a relationship or for protecting yourself?

Marisa Jones  28:15  

Boundaries are hard, because sometimes we set boundaries that don't support us. We have to create boundaries that are realistic. Again, it goes back to that GPS, when you know what your boundaries are. When you know what your values are, you set boundaries based on your values. When you know what your expectations are of people, you set boundaries based on that. For instance, I have a client and her relationship with her father is distant, he's not a very good role model. She wanted to learn how to have a healthy relationship. Her expectations of him were that she wanted him, she wanted to spend time with him. There were all these things of a father that she wanted from him that she could never give her. She changed her expectations and gave those things to herself the love and the caring and knowing that he doesn't have the capacity to show up when he makes plans with her and things like that. That's just not who he is. She can still love him. What she does is she creates boundaries around how she sees him. It's on her terms. Now she directs when and where she sees them. She knows when he offers she has to put up a boundary to say no, I'm not going to do, I'm not going to say yes to that. I'm going to create the situation so she has more control of it. She's doing that based on her values because she values the relationship with her father, she values herself and she doesn't want to get hurt. She's created a way to create a boundary around that, she can enter wracked with him and have a healthy relationship without getting hurt in the process. It's a combination of multiple things. Keeping your boundaries is going back to that GPS, you know that if you break that you're going to get hurt, you're going to have different expectations for the other person. That's just one example of many. Where if you don't create boundaries, because her initial boundary was, I'm just gonna cut them out of my life. It's like, no, no, you value Him, you love Him, He's your dad, you don't have to cut him out. If she cuts him out of her life, the way I have done in the past, you're only going to get hurt in the long run. You have to create the right boundaries first, and then you have to know why you're keeping them and why it's important to keep them. When you realize that you're keeping them to honor yourself, because you're aware of the outcome. If you don't, then it's really easy to set and keep boundaries.

Robert Peterson  30:58  

It adds so much value to the relationship.

Marisa Jones  31:01  


Robert Peterson  31:04  

First of all, because you've set this on your values. Then you've modified your expectations based on the things that you've learned and or know about your partner, your father, your put that's so powerful. I hear couples all the time, and I know it applies to others. If they make the statements that, if he loved me, he would know. It's this Hollywood expectation of Prince Charming that if he loved me, he would just know what I expected or he'd know what I'd want. Have you told him? We have this whole magical relationship idea. We fell in love, and they should just know all these things.

Marisa Jones  32:33  

I teach my clients that a lot. I have this whole exercise called Understanding your expectations, we have hidden them as transportations we don't know about. I'll take an incident. If somebody has an incident where they get into a fight with someone and it turns into a screaming yelling match or whatever happens. I have them there, dissect it, there's 12 questions they go through? What was the incident? How did you react? What was your emotional state? What feelings came out? And then it's where do you think that X? What was your expectation? Where do you think it comes from? Go back to your childhood? What was the expectation? What was the hidden expectation? What if you were expecting someone to acknowledge it was your birthday? What was the expectation behind that? Is it realistic? If it's realistic, then have a conversation with the other person and say, this was my expectation. Now you have what my clients say, a language, this was my expectation. These are the needs you didn't meet, this is the value that was unmet. When you can do that, then you can apologize, or then the other person can apologize, they have an opportunity to do that. Or you can say my expectation was unreal. My expectations are real, I should really modify my expectations. It's so simple. If you get married, and you have expectations that the dishes in the sink should be cleaned every night, your partner's not going to know that unless they tell you, why is that? Is it because when you were a child you got screamed at? You got punished if it wasn't done? Or is it because you like to have a place? There's a difference as to the origin. Sometimes those extra hidden expectations are actually triggers from things that happened to you in childhood that you don't even recognize,

Robert Peterson  34:30  

Was it that your father just cleaned the dishes every night? Now you expect your spouse to clean the dishes every night, like your father did. You've never had a conversation about it.

Marisa Jones  34:40  


Robert Peterson  34:43  

You don't even realize it's a trigger until the second day that the dishes are in there and you're irritated and you don't understand why you're irritated because no one's doing the dishes because no one's ever had a conversation about hey, let's decide who's gonna do the dishes and when.

Marisa Jones  34:58  

Exactly and it's so something minor, but it could be something different. Whereas let's say a friend of yours tells you she's got, asked to go on a surprise trip by her boyfriend. Next thing you know, you're angry at your friend. Or you're angry at your own boyfriend. What are all the expectations behind it? Was it because you wanted to spend time with her? Or is it because you're jealous? If you're jealous? Is it really her? Or is it your friend? Is it your boyfriend? What's your value behind that? Is it because you really value going on vacation? Or do you feel hurt because he's not recognizing you? There's all this complexity that our brain goes through, unconsciously that we don't even realize. Understanding all the expectations and your triggers and your value system, having a full awareness of that can change your life, everything you do is based on that awareness of knowing all of that when you walk into a situation or have a relationship or enter a job or every every, everything that you do every day. That's why my program is called mindset warrior, the art of intentional thinking. When you have intention around everything you do, around that awareness of everything you are, you never make a mistake that you have guilt or regret on and everything you go forward to all your relations become healthier and healthier as you move forward.

Robert Peterson  36:29  

I love that. I dabble with the idea of calling myself an intention coach because it really is about living life with intention. You're thinking intentionally acting intentionally, intentionally confirming our beliefs, because our beliefs control our actions. All of that is so important. I love the title of your program and love the work that you're doing. That's why I love digging deeper into this to share it with our audience, the power of our subconscious, and how much of our life is just on autopilot. If we choose to live in that victim state, we stay in autopilot. We talked about the lower level emotions in the bottom is grief and grief and shame and unforgiveness and resentment and anger are all down there. When you cross this line, and I like to call it the money of courage, right, which is the line we talked about at the very beginning of taking responsibility for your life and owning it. Now I own it. Now I'm above this line. The emotions are up here. This is where peace and love and joy and happiness and love is the top right love is unconditional love is the very top and of course that's deity level. The rest of us can aspire to choose joy. I choose to be responsible for my life. Now I can choose to live in a state of joy, or I can choose to live in a state of happiness, I can choose to live in a state of peace. It's all built on that foundation, you talked about that GPS, you start knowing your values, you know what's important to you, you set boundaries around those things. Then you intentionally choose relationships that are in support of those things. You intentionally choose what you allow in between your ears. You're intentional about what you're reading, you're intentional about what you're watching, you're intentional about your activities that are feeding your brain versus, watching the news and getting fed all the negative and the drama. That intentionality is so important, that is what's programming your mind for your daily activities. Let's talk about your default.

Marisa Jones  38:49  

Your default victim mindset becomes a default, positive mindset, it becomes you actually with practice, it becomes your new default behavior. It's no longer hard. It's very hard at the beginning, you have to get yourself to be uncomfortable. You have to do things that don't really fit with who you are at the moment in the victim mindset. The more you do it and the more you practice, the easier it becomes. Then it becomes a habit, and it's just who you are. Today I walk around every day, intentionally aware, and being present moment to moment, it's how I flow because I've created that over the years. That's what I call my everyday being. It's my everyday being

Robert Peterson  39:41  

The challenge for many is they think this power of positive thinking is just that doesn't really work. Oh, that won't make a difference. They're in that negative. Victim state. They feel like the conditions and circumstances of their life. You don't understand Marisa, you don't understand my life's different. My life's worse than yours, I get a flat tire every day. All these terrible things just keep happening. The shift was good and it wasn't overwhelming. The truth of this is there's science that backs this up, there's science about the chemicals in our brain that back it up, when you choose happiness, when you choose to smile, when you choose to do those things, you get a whole different set of chemicals, than when you spend your life. That anxiety and stress, which leads to your brain putting you in fight and flight mode, you're sitting on the couch.

Marisa Jones  40:42  

No real danger, but it automatically it's the default behavior that keeps coming up over and over again, because you because you allow it. 

Robert Peterson  40:53  

You talked about depression, and you talked about some of those things in your own life. Our culture has this epidemic of depression, so many people are living in that fight and flight state sitting on their couches miserable and unhappy. Thinking that the world is against them, and God hates them. They can choose another option, they have another choice, why it's so much better, that doesn't feel like depression doesn't require them to take a bunch of medications to numb their body up numbing their emotions. It starts with positive thinking.

Marisa Jones  41:33  

It's not all peaches and babies.

Robert Peterson  41:38  

It's absolutely not. 

Marisa Jones  41:42  

Sometimes I get triggered, and I immediately do my default behavior, like most days, I talk about my scale, one to 10, 10 is the highest. Since I've healed over the years, my average day is a 10. When I drop, it's never below a five anymore. It used to be really low. I have days where I drop in my default behavior, when I'm not consistent in my intentionality. My default behavior goes way back to the negative and I get depressed, but my awareness of saying, I have the tools, I can journal, I can do this, I can do my expectations exercise, I can do that. All sit on the couch and go, Oh, heck no, I'm gonna sit here and wallow. I might do that. I might do it for a day. I get out of it. It's like, okay, it's kind of like, it's time to clean the house, it's time to do the work. I may do it for a day or even two days, I eventually get up and I journal and I do what I know, works and gets me out of it. In the past, in my victim mindset, it would last for months, weeks or months, and it affected everyone and everyone I touched was angry because I was angry, But that changed. Again, you said choice, you have a choice every single day on how we want to be. It is hard. It's a lot of hard work. It's worth it. It's so worth it.

Robert Peterson  43:16  

If you could choose positive or negative, why would you choose negative? If you actually have a choice. Now, I want to remind you, you have a choice. That's not like you said, that's not to say that bad stuff doesn't happen. Our parents die, boom, that sucks. Our spouse could die. That sucks. Our kids could die. Ooh, that really sucks. That's not to say that oh shit moments don't happen. Life sucks, moments don't happen. We face those moments differently. We recognize the things I can control and the things I can't control. I've got to be willing to let go of right and not try to control. Bad stuff happens. It happens to me, it happens to my spouse but we handle it in a whole different way. That doesn't mean we don't spend a week crying. At some point, we say, Whoa, this isn't where I want to be. I've been where I want to be. I know I can get back there and I can get back there so much faster. It's okay to say oh, that sucked. I gotta be able to see now what? That sucks now what? 

Marisa Jones  44:28  

I always say, you always have those tools in your back pocket. You just gotta pull them out and you can easily wallow and you can easily get caught up in that old stuff but it's not fun. Life is fun. We need to get back to that. We need to get back to just enjoying being around people and enjoying life and just knowing nature and having fun with it.

Robert Peterson  44:56  

That's so powerful. Marisa, what inspires you?

Marisa Jones  45:01  

Other people, I love being inspired by other people. I love when I am working with someone, a client and they're growing. That inspires me. I love other people, when I see other people's excelling and succeeding, Yeah, I'm gonna be your biggest cheerleader. I just love people doing really good things in life. I'm inspired when my dogs are not freaking out here. The thunder I'm in. I'm inspired by myself, I am my biggest inspiration. I love myself. I've never been able to say that in the early years. I inspire myself every day. I'm like, Yeah, let's do it. I'm inspired by nature. I'm a big outdoors person. I'm always outdoors, by the lake, kayaking and paddleboarding. I travel. I bought a camper van last summer. I travel with my dog all the time. I just love it. I love the outdoors. I'm inspired by nature.

Robert Peterson  46:11  

You mentioned a few really cool things: journaling, meditating some of those. What are some routines that have really helped you?

Marisa Jones  46:21  

I would say journaling is definitely one of them. I do what's called Focus journaling. Sometimes it's good to rant or get things off your chest. A lot of times when things bother us, it's because we're replaying it. We're trying to sort something out. The best way to do that is to do focus journaling. I do focus journaling with mind, body and emotions. A lot of people do mind body, soul, mind, body spirit, but I like to focus on mind body emotions, emotions is how we express ourselves. If I'm up against a situation, what's going through my mind, what am I thinking, write down the thoughts that are in your head, good or bad? Just write down all the thoughts that are in your head? Then what? How is my body expressing itself? Does my heart hurt? Does my stomach hurt? Or my hand shaking? Do I feel lightheaded? Like what? How does my body express what's happening? Then what are the emotions behind it? Am I angry? am I sad, and by doing that, you'd be surprised at how much clarity comes out. What you're doing is you're releasing that burden of what's bothering you. I don't journal every day, but when something's bothering me, that's my first go to mind, body and emotions. When you write that down, you'd be surprised at how quickly what you're stressed about just dissolves.

Robert Peterson  47:48  

That's a really good tool to find the triggers. So many people, first of all, generations have been told, don't be angry, or men don't cry, or all these ways that we stuffed an emotion and we hide it because we don't want anybody to see it, nobody thinks that emotion is appropriate. We block the energy of these emotions inside our body, which causes some of those physical ailments. That's what's your stomach or your shoulders are tight or your those are signs that you've got an emotion you're holding on to, that's inside of you. Rather than allowing that energy to go whoosh in through you. I love to help people just see one of those emotions or a dashboard. What if they're just the warning lights of your body saying, hey, something's different. Now you can ask yourself, Okay, I'm angry. What's that about? I'm kind of sad. I want to cry. What? What's that about? These emotions. First of all, I want to say it's okay to experience emotions, these are part of our design. These are part of our humaneness. Experiencing these emotions is really important. They're trying to tell us something. Something's going on. I love that focused idea of asking it, just give yourself permission to be curious about your emotions and ask yourself, what is this? What does that mean? Why am I angry right now? When I've asked myself, I'm angry, especially when I was raising my kids is B, you know what? It was always selfish, almost always was something, something wasn't going how I expected it to go. Instead of my kids did something dumb. It really wasn't about what they did. It was about how it made me look.

Marisa Jones  49:41  

It's interesting you say that, what you know that it's you, your expectation was not met. Our reaction is typically an expectation that is met or unmet. It's that simple. Those flowers or balloons were happy. Our expectation was met, maybe it was a birthday or something. Maybe it's because this person loves me. They're showing me by doing that. My expectation was met. If they forget my birthday, I'm going to be unhappy because it's a value of mine. My expectations were not met. It's surprising how expectations can surface. Analyzing and I have an extremely analytical brain, analyzing yourself that self awareness, and analyzing and getting to the core is literally the key to happiness. It's the key to finding joy.

Robert Peterson  50:39  

Being willing to let go of those expectations. Absolutely. In a lot of cases, the majority. It's interesting how we are so quick to assume the negative, oh, she didn't call me back. She must be mad at me. Our brain just automatically assumes the worst thing ever. She didn't give me a kiss. Before I said, Goodbye. She must be mad at me. Then we're at work. We spend eight hours trying to figure out why she's mad at us. Then we came back home and stomped on the front door. We're in knowing that she's, and what happens, we end up having a fight. Now we're having a fight that she didn't even know anything about. It all happened inside of my head. It was all based on an expectation that, if I would have just called and said, hey, when I left this morning, he didn't give me a kiss. She'd be like, Oh, I was just grabbing the newspaper. She didn't even notice. It wasn't even a thing. Spend eight hours a day, machining it around in your head, who may read it

Marisa Jones  51:45  

Often I have a really easy, simple thing for that. When your head starts going like that. Say to yourself, no one cares. No one cares. No one cares. It actually works. It's that kind of smack in the face, Oh, no one cares that I'm sitting here fuming. Then you can get yourself to the bottom of it, then you can be self aware and self analyze, that's kind of your wake up to you when you're out. Just remind yourself no one cares. I have clients that tell me it works for them. It's like no one cares.

Robert Peterson  52:27  

You got to snap yourself out of it. Your brain will just be your brain is the biggest conspiracy theorist in the world. It will just it will just keep going down this conspiracy theory trail, and then you'll start finding evidence is the brain the brain is going to be Oh, yeah, everything becomes evidence now. But no. Not only is the brain creating this problem, now it's finding all the evidence to prove that the problem is true. That's what it does. It's the Crazy Cycle. You ruin and then you come home and have a fight and you actually ruin your relationship over nothing. It happens far more often than it should, which is a real shame. We don't break it. We don't we don't stop ourselves and say who cares? No one. No one cares. Now your brain can go oh, wait, what? No one cares. I've been doing all this work. I found all this evidence. No one cares. Shut up.

Marisa Jones  53:26  

I wouldn't do that to ourselves to evidence that we're bad people or evidence that we did wrong or evidence that we're guilty. 

Robert Peterson  53:35  

Your plan won't work your ideas stupid your Oh, yeah, your brains finding a list of all the reasons why that won't work.

Marisa Jones  53:43  

Why not? Anything's possible. I just say the world is a canvas and you can pull whatever you want onto this canvas. Anything goes, think about any inventor, any business, any initiative that somebody has in this world. It was a crazy idea. Anything's possible, and why not? You?

Robert Peterson  54:11  

That's a good, that's the exact question. I was good. But why not? I tell my brain all the time. Why not? Me?

Marisa Jones  54:17  

Why not? Why can't I be the next big best selling author? Why can't I be the person who's doing speaking engagements and having a long client list? Why not me?

Robert Peterson  54:30  

Why not you, Marisa?

Marisa Jones  54:33  

I have value. Why not? We have to remind ourselves of all of that.

Robert Peterson  54:38  

Absolutely. Marisa, what's your favorite place? You've taken your puppy?

Marisa Jones  54:44  

Let me say Oh, I don't know. I took them on a cross country trip last year to Florida. I had to put one down a couple months ago because he had a stroke. I just take them everywhere. I took them to Moab a couple of weeks ago. In April, a couple of weeks' time flies by the end of April. I took him to Moab. He loves to travel. He's 10 years old. He's got a puppy he acts like

Robert Peterson  55:14  

I'm lucky my dogs ignore the storm, but he ignores most everything when he's in the house.

Marisa Jones  55:22  

He freaks out with thunder.

Robert Peterson  55:25  

My other dog used to hide under my desk, but our current dog, even fireworks, he's like, whatever, he doesn't even, you don't even notice them. I love dogs. Speaking of dogs who began to travel, let's talk about the power of play and fun in a person's life.

Marisa Jones  55:49  

Oh, my goodness, it's so important. I've been talking about this a lot lately. Here's the thing when we're kids. We just play and we are so full of wonder in the world, everything is amazing. We have such an imagination. We think anything is possible. Think about it, kids are happy. By default. They're joyful. By the fall, they find pleasure and amusement and just about everything. What happens though, is the parents, we put them in a box, and then the systems around us put us in a box. The people around us put us in a box. Next thing, you know, all of that wonderland amusement has been squashed. What I try to do with my clients is I help them find a new perspective in life, to see wonder in the world again, because I was guilty of it, I used to be the person that would leave work, stop on roses drive, an hour to work, and I couldn't tell you if it was raining or snowing or if the sun was out because I was so in my head and so focused on, you know what I had to do. Now I go outside, and everything is like, just everything, if you look at it with a new perspective and with wonder, and that's people, not just nature. Here's an example I wrote about this in my book. I learned a long time ago that tree leaves don't fall off trees, trees actually go through the process of sending chemicals and pushing the leaf off the tree. What happened was, when I started observing trees with that mindset, I noticed that even on non windy days, you will see individual leaves, and they're shaking. If you look real close, you can see several of them on a tree. It's fascinating to watch. When you change your belief system and change your mindset on how you view the world, you can see that in everything in nature, you can see that when you're looking at a rock, like when I look at rocks, or I go to like a famous tourist place like Moab, I literally put my hand on the rock. I just imagine all the different people who have walked past and put their hand on their right, or a rock like that sitting on the floor. How many different people sat on that rock in that rock's lifetime of millions of years. What is that rock experience? When you go to work, your life is like that, with that perspective. That wonder. Everything becomes playful, and everything becomes joyful, it's childlike. You can do that with people too. Think about that, for us who have kids. Our kids can be an annoyance, I'm just being honest, kids are freaking annoying sometimes. They get on your nerves. You want to add like you have the saints. Minor teams now. It's not as bad. When you look at other people's kids, do you have that same eggs? Do you have the same annoyance? You don't, because your expectations are different? You see them as an individual child. You don't see them as you might see them as your friend's child, but you're seeing them as an individual unique child with a grand personality. A uniqueness above them. Why can't we see our own kids that way? Look at your own kids that way, look at your partner that way, look at your friends that way, when you start seeing individual people, that way, it changes how you view people. It changes, you soften to people, you become more kind, when you look at every single person as having a magical spirit and a uniqueness about them. Even if they're angry, there's something about them that can make you smile. You're looking at them differently and again, it's all mine. Said, so I tried to bring that wonder into the world, through my clients and the work that I do and just, why not? We can go around this planet being angry and just so serious all the time. Trust me, I was like that for most of my life. You can go with it by just having fun and joy in everything that you do. Robert Peterson  1:00:23  

That power of going with your kids is so powerful. Challenging, but so powerful. It's a great question. If the neighbor kid did that, would you be as upset? Ooh, that's powerful. 

Marisa Jones  1:00:45  

You react differently, you would totally react to it really? To your friend's kid who maybe broke your front window versus your own kid who broke your front window?

Robert Peterson  1:00:55  

Oh, so good. Then about if you broke your front window?

Marisa Jones  1:01:00  


Robert Peterson  1:01:02  

Man, we are so hard on ourselves, hard on ourselves, hard on our kids. Letting go of expectations is so powerful in giving yourself a break, giving your kids a break. Lots of great stuff. Hi, Marisa. What's your big dream?

Marisa Jones  1:01:20  

Oh man, to help as many people as I can to help people change their mindset, I'm in a servant mindset these days. I really want to let people know that they can really let go and be happy, they can really find joy and enjoy life. That's my big dream is to really expand on what I'm doing. Let people know they don't have to be miserable. They don't have to carry these burdens around

Robert Peterson  1:01:55  

Super powerful, you spend an hour with an entrepreneur and you want to leave him with Marisa's words of wisdom. What would you share?

Marisa Jones  1:02:03  

Oh, go for it. Definitely go because you can do anything. You can be powerful. You can be anything you want to be, you just have to take steps every single day. Every single day when you are working towards a passion, it will organically grow into your purpose.

Robert Peterson  1:02:24  

Marisa, thank you so much for joining me today. What a great conversation. I really, really appreciate it.

Marisa Jones  1:02:29  

Thanks for having me. This has been a lot of fun. I appreciate it.