Black Lives Matter

Some call me white girl;

Light skinned; mulatto.

Others aren’t so nice–they tell me,

“I’m wanna be black,

But don’t talk, don’t act.”

When I was younger,

My defense would go:

“My skin’s light, but my daddy’s black.

My brother is black.

My grandpa is too.

My knees get ashy.

My hair gets frizzy.

Behind me, you’ll find a booty.

And my black daddy

Gots baby mommies.”

Why is it these things

Defend my black pride?

Who gets to define true black life?

Black culture is real;

Exclusive; not white.

My mixed brother once

Told our white mommy,

“You aren’t my mom because you’re white.

I am full black so

How can I be white?”

Why did my brother

Feel white made him lack?

Was it because he’s called white boy;

Light skinned; not full black?

Shame–led his attack?

Or was it because

Of all the cracked jokes

Implying we act certain ways

If we wish to be

Part of the black race?

We all see the hurt,

So let’s break all fear

And recognize that skin

Shouldn’t define life

Or level of pride.

Black lives matter!

Indeed, they do.

So why does our

Black life only matter,

When we’re as black as you?

– Kelsey Jo


Let it sink in

Like quick sand

On my hand

It’s a dream

Of a child of destiny

She’s searching

For the answer

Just a little child

Not much to mistake

With her sharp eyed

Pains and open disdain

For what’s evil and vain

If she shoots too soon

She’ll miss the target

She knows

Make the arrow

Sink to the center

Of the target’s heart

Take the dream

With both hands

Hold it fast

So it won’t collapse

Aim again

Only once

Square those shoulders

Make yourself bolder

Now shoot

And hear the target cry

Dreams achieved

In the blink of an eye

The child lives

The target dies

– Kelsey Jo


Canadian Coins are Magnetic

It all started with hives. I’ve never had hives before, but then again it really could’ve started when I picked up “Brain on Fire” by Susannah Cahalan. I sort of bulldozed through the entire first half of the book on my three hour flight from Salt Lake City International to Toronto International Airport. She made me see myself in a new light. The light exposed me in a way where I felt free, but also unsure. That’s all I’ll say about her book for now–just read it. Seriously. It will teach you something about yourself…

I use to sell wood pellet grills for a living in Costco (Costco Wholesale Corporation, trading as Costco, is an American multinational corporation which operates a chain of membership-only warehouse clubs.[4] As of 2015, Costco was the second largest retailer in the world after Walmart,[5] and as of 2016, Costco was the world’s largest retailer of choice and prime beef, organic foods, rotisserie chicken, and wine[6]) and I loved my job. I loved it in ways I didn’t expect to experience when I first encountered the opportunity back in early November. Good ol’ Kelly B and I got put into the same “money profile” group at a Millionaire Mind Intensive (founded by T. Harv Eker). She and I flew ourselves over to Los Angeles for a follow-up conference known as Master of Influence (MMI). She approached me with such love and fierceness. I remember thinking, Whatever this lady does for a living, I want in. She seemed to read my mind because she invited me to take a chance as a Brand Ambassador of Traeger Wood Fired Grills.

So there I was in Ontario, Canada for the first time in my life typing on a laptop while surrounded by a bunch of obnoxious Canadian teenage boys (who tried to start drama with me because they wanted the computer). No surprise, Canadians are fierce and they hate that Americans invented “fierce”–explains why the immigration rate of Canadian Citizens to the United States is 4x higher than the rate of United States Citizens immigrating to Canada and becoming legal permanent residents (https://www.immigroup.com/news/immigration-united-states-america-vs-canada).

Believe me. I ordered some pizza from a restaurant and on the box the words were boldly printed:

“Authentically Italian. Fiercely Canadian.”

Not that I have anything against Canadians, but I am only sharing my own views and observations based on my experiences so far here.

So here I go back to where it all started…the hives…

I ordered a coffee with milk–just a little dairy. I’ve been strictly dairy-free for two years but from time to time I’d have a little chocolate with milk or some dairy in my coffee…only large amounts of dairy would push my skin to pop and expand around my joints, blood rushing to attack instead of build because of a hyperactive immune system. My diagnosis is Rheumatoid Arthritis (Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a long-term autoimmune disorder that primarily affects joints.[1] It typically results in warm, swollen, and painful joints.[1] Pain and stiffness often worsen following rest.[1] Most commonly, the wrist and hands are involved, with the same joints typically involved on both sides of the body.[1] The disease may also affect other parts of the body.) but I see it as some inflammation that speaks to what my soul or spirit needs.

The sales day was almost over and my energy felt low so I purchased a coffee from the Costco food station with–yes, you guessed it–dairy. I drank it down and before I knew it my whole body became warm. It started in my feet with a tingling sensation and then intense itching. Then it spread to my hands and wrists. I looked at the underside of my forearms and stared in amazement at the tiny red bumps that flooded over my soft skin.

What the hell is going on? I thought to myself.

I yanked off my Apple watch and bracelets as I ran to the bathroom. My heart raced and I felt nauseous.

It’s an allergic reaction. The coffee.

Dead-bolting the employee bathroom door behind me, I pulled off my shirt and stared with horror at dozens of red bumps covering my shoulders, arms, chest, stomach, and back. I moved my fingertips over the inflamed and itchy skin. I knew I needed to get help. I found myself 20 minutes later driving in a panic to the nearest drug and grocery store in search of Benadryl.

The next day, I felt completely not myself.

What was I doing in Canada?

I wrote this in my journal the night I got home…

I walked into Costco in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada with a heavy and uncertain heart. I was certain of my potential and strength in weakness, but this time felt different.

I looked around at all of the Canadians and realized with a shock, You are the minority.

I thought about Kendrick Lamar’s song Feel and his words, “I feel like say somethin. I feel like take somethin.” I wanted to scream. My better half–my stronger half–found amusement in all the ways Canadian culture are fragments of American culture, especially considering our ancestors come from the same place.

Yet still, I couldn’t shake the downpour of negative thoughts as my mind turned to fog and I felt myself losing my ability to stand.

They know you’re mixed and American. You’re not fooling anyone with all that curly hair and sixteen-year-old face.

[Looking back now, I see this experience as culture shock. The shock and the allergic reaction worked together to turn me ill, resulting in intense inflammation both internally and externally.]

I felt myself breaking and my first impression in this moment of human fragility was that I needed to forgive my father, so I unblocked his number and called him right then. Tears flooded my eyes.

Forgiveness is such a beautiful action and it’s forgiveness that exposes true love.

Sometimes we tell ourselves what we don’t want to believe and it’s this kind of focus on the assumptive nature of our thoughts that can frame our reality, destroying our identity.

Awareness is essential to human progression, but even when our assumptions are actually our reality, we can still see them as opportunities to accept ourselves rather than turn away from ourselves.

As a quote that I once read goes, “Through our pain we become full.”

Over the next couple of days I would experience a sickness that would rob me of my freedom, but today I stole that freedom back and it’s how I discovered that Canadian coins are magnets.

I emptied out the entire contents of my backpack onto my hotel room bed. The U.S. coins mixed with the Canadian coins. I picked up my Traeger name badge to throw it into my bag when a Canadian coin flew to the magnetic strip on the back and stuck there. I paused and moved the badge over the pile of coins. To my amusement only the Canadian currency revealed to be magnetic.

I then realized the Canadian cuŕrency will always be made of a different kind of material than the American currency, but I choose whether to magnetize my identity with the Canadian identity. I am and always will be in control of what sticks to me. Afterall, the coins are still both currency, created and used for the same purpose…to feed the mouths of the people in the world.

– Kelsey Jo

Is Anyone Loyal to Purpose Anymore?

OH how I love TD Jakes.

My whole frame is shaking as I type these words…why has it been so long?

It seems I only write when my passion MEETS pain. It’s when we choose to overcome intense emotions of passion and pain we begin to experience purpose.

TD Jakes says, “Great passion and great pain are the wonder twins of purpose. You cannot have great passion without great pain.”

I walk swiftly and purposefully. Every step I take from my heel to my toe screams with energy.

I can’t deny my doubts and fears. Sometimes when I’m running down the stairs in the mornings to catch the train, some strange thought rushes through my mind as I watch them fall behind me one after the other. The thought goes,

Hey, imagine if you slipped right now and shattered your face on the cement? You’re going so fast, one wrong step and you just might ruin everything.

An image of myself falling with my backpack dragging me to the brutal force of the sharp edged steps emerges. I shake my head and think,

Now that would be a disaster.

When I’m almost to the bottom of the steps the thought screams louder,


I roll my eyes,

Come on, don’t be ridiculous. YOU’RE GOING TO MAKE YOURSELF FALL.

Down the steps and I’m nearly running to the heavy door at the end of the hall. I push it open with might and a loud breathe. The sky is brilliant. I take it all in. The sun sneaking up behind the East mountains, preparing the switchboard with anticipation. The clouds’ shadows stretching out freely with static jubilance. The air humming sweet melodies to prepare the tune of a new day.

The air plays the music,

The clouds dance the song,

The sun lights the stage–

We are the audience. 

When I get to the station, the regular eyes of strangers find mine. I wonder if they notice the performance. Sometimes I smile and think a thought to them (if that’s even a real thing),

Do you see it, too? The masterpiece of this new day?

I think they hear me. The responses are mixed,

YES! Aren’t you glad we got here early to watch it begin?


Sorry, what did you say? I don’t have the time…

I’m too sad to watch another performance. I’m too lonely. it’s just the same dance, the same song, the same stage.

What are we supposed to be watching again?

The train arrives and the passengers crowd inside. Everyone’s staring at the same glass pane, but few look out the window.

Is anyone loyal to purpose anymore?

What was that thing you always wanted to do? The thing that when you did it your thoughts screamed, “Hey slow down you might fall?” The thing that made you uncomfortable, but caused you pain when you didn’t do it?

Keep going and burst through the door! Leave your fears behind you.  My friend, the performance is about to begin and you don’t want to miss it. Who knows, someday you might be the one passing out tickets or saving a front row seat for someone else.

Consider this quote by Marianne Williamson,

“You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

– Kelsey Jo

Check out TD Jakes Motivational Speech, “Passion & Pain” for more!


He stared forward. Unbroken focus and serious eyes meant I had better listen.

UNFORGETABLE would be his next words.

The conversation felt more vital to my existence than air.

Become a legend and leave a legacy.

That’s all that consumed my thoughts at one point in my life.

Now restore swirled around, above, below, and within my heart.

What need I restore anyway? I didn’t know. I only knew something need to be brought back to a better state.

His question broke the air,

“Are you prepared to die for it?”

The question hung in the air like a bird soaring toward a tumultuous wave of water.

The bird broke through the water, grabbed its prey and soared forward–a majestic and graceful victory.


I said slowly with a pounding heart.

His response caught me off guard,

“Okay. Good. I’m just making sure you know where you are going.

I know where I am going.

Embrace the discomfort, I thought.

Embrace it and let goD. 

– Kelsey Jo

“I look at these young men and women and I confess the tears trickle down my cheeks and I bow in humble praise to God that He kept me from walking away from a calling that at times was painful and frustrating.”

– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


I’m convinced it’s the initial take off that excites a carousel rider. You wait patiently for your turn in line, maybe eaves drop on the conversation of the person in front of you, then when they make eye contact you turn away quickly and pretend to be staring off in to the distance. Sometimes you even make faces at the little baby behind you when the mom is looking away. If you’re me, you count the number of times the carousel goes ’round before the worker let’s on the next group. Yet, it seems the anticipation of anticipation is what makes the carousel keep spinning round and round, isn’t that why we choose to wait in line?

One day the line vanished and she walked passed the gate and sat down on the Carousel.

No direction–

No need for anyone to tell her where to go or what to do, except of course the Carousel.

The sun shined bright in the sky and her heart expanded as the Carousel made its first round. The closer to the top, the more she could see, but even the passing highs couldn’t stop the lows from snatching her from the view. She let it carry her on and on, she chose to stay put and not to get off. She started out her ride by counting the rounds, but after a while didn’t pay any mind. She trusted the Carousel, even when her over-sized heart beat at the top with suspense. She smiled at the possibility of the Carousel trapping her and even welcomed the anxiety mixed with fear. The idea made the ride more life-like and the realness of uncertainty made her certain, after all…

She trusted the Carousel.

“The Heavenly Father does not ask for golden vessels. He does not ask for silver vessels. God asks for yielded vessels – those who will submit their will to the will of the Father. And the greatest human attainment in all the world is for a life to be so surrendered to Him that the name of God Almighty will be glorified through that life.” – Kathryn Kuhlman

Yield your vessel, trust the Carousel.

– Kelsey Jo