Saturday, December 20, 2014

Be the Tree

The hour before I rest at night is precious to me.
My children are tucked into their rooms and beds. I have them surrounded by the love of their Grandma Made Blankets and I have quiet time.

During this time, I pray, I read, I meditate and then I write what my heart speaks to me. I call my Angels and then sleep.

Often before I drift off to sleep I say out-loud: "As my body rests, the Goddess within is ever awake; creating manifesting and bringing me joy, love, peace and prosperity. I call upon my Angels, Guides, and Ascended Masters to teach me and speak to me through my dreams that I may receive the messages I deserve to know and they are integrated into my subconscious. Let me remember whatever serves my highest good when I wake. Heal my heart, my body and soul." 

                                                                            Found on

A few nights ago before I sank into the softness of my bed and pillows I wrote this:

It's time to be Magnificent.
Be the tree. Be grounded and rooted but flow and dance with the caress of the wind. 
Cradle those who seek shelter in your branches and nurture new life like the Robin's eggs in their nest. 
Open to light and nourishment. Receive the Sun and warmth, drink in the rain and let go of the leaves from Summer's past. 
Rest when the world is cold but never give up, hope in the birth of new life- BLOSSOM.
Reach for the light and stars and sky. There is no ceiling to your growth.
Stay rooted in the heart of Mother Earth- let her Love keep you secure- but stretch and grow and embody your magnificence and radiance. 
Honor and glorify your divinity- never diminish it or apologize for it. 
You are Light. 

Photo by me
Painting by me

Thursday, December 4, 2014

11 years have passed

I have opportunities to speak from time to time. Often people will find me afterwards; tug on my sleeve and ask "How do you get over losing a child?"
I usually answer "You don't."

This is my journal entry, 11 years after losing Jonah:
                 *   *   *

We were watching the movie "Soul Surfer" and there's a scene where a teen girl is being taken to the hospital in an ambulance and the mom is driving behind it- the sirens blaring.

Suddenly, I began to cry. To sob. To weep.

Jayce, (my 11 year old) leaned over and hugged me and held me while I cried.

In the movie, the girl survives a shark attack. 

For me, when we arrived at the hospital, Jonah was already dead. 

I remember the drive behind the ambulance. The terror, mixed with failing hope and disbelief. 
                  *   *   *

We don't "GET OVER" traumatic things. We Live On.

Sometimes people say I'm well adjusted... am I?
I'm at peace with losing Jonah... in fact one of the lessons I learned is that LOSING and LETTING GO don't mean "LOST Forever."

I learned that while we don't "get over" loss, we balance out the pendulum swing (if we allow it) and the sadness, despair, devastation, pain, and darkness will eventually BE BALANCED out by LOVE and peace and joy.

I am sad. I am heartbroken today as much as I was the day I watched him die; no- it's not as raw, but the pain is as deep. I don't wish it different, I wouldn't be walking the path of compassion I am and serving the world had it been different,- but I also learned that the TEAR does heal and eventually I recognized there is Joy and Love and Peace in the world too. That it will level out.
The pain will stay but the capacity for the depth of LOVE and happiness grows and balances.

My friend is facing the one year anniversary of the loss of her husband in a few days. Every Death Day anniversary is a challenge.

The week before is like a march to the guillotine. Dread and resolve... wanting to get it over with. 

IF I am "well adjusted" I guess it's because after Jonah's death I became awakened to the silent desperation so many people are walking around with. The sadness behind the smiles. Being empathic, and sensitive to the emotions people are feeling around me.... and because of the experience of losing a child--- my own pain was almost all I could bear.... I knew and know that's a path I walk one foot fall at a time, one step at a time, one moment at a time... BUT I THREW myself into doing whatever I could to assist others in their heartbreak.

My own pain is enough, I guess I serve and love out of selfishness.... I feel the pain around me in addition to my own... I don't know how to heal mine- but assisting in alleviating other's- in extending my hand, my heart, beating a drum seems to lift them.

Lightens their burden... and as it's lightened my own seems lighter as well.

The holidays are sweet poison to me. 

I see that this time of year is exceptionally hard for many of my friends and loved ones who are missing their own loved ones.

As you do your shopping and decorating and baking; I ask that you remember there are many people who will have empty stockings hanging this year. That Christmas is one of the most tender times that we miss our loved ones who live on the other side of the veil.

Store sales, and great deals, and traffic don't matter to us- it's the empty chair at the table.

Send a card, hold a hand, mention you remember too.

Seek to lift. Holidays only matter because of the ones we love and cherish. Remember that too. 


Here's one of my favorite songs: 
It says "I know I'll be ok, but I still miss you."

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Rainbow of Consciousness

It's easy to recognize here. Here- this world, the physical world. It's easy to see it, pay attention to it.

But there's more. 

Everything on this earth has a Frequency Pattern. 
The Frequency Patterns are all connected like spiderwebs across the Earth. 

The connection to Spirit, Vibration, Consciousness, etc. 

All of us have what's known as  a "Soul" a Higher Self that sees all, knows all, is in contact with all other Higher Selves.

We are attached with a Crystalline Cord to our Higher Self.

This is similar to what it looks like: 

Whatever SHIFT we create on this planet, in physical form... SHIFTS within the Consciousness of the Cosmos.
Anything you are struggling with (WE, US, I Am struggling with) that comes in the form of Temptation, Stress, Discouragement.... etc... IS OUR opportunity to SHIFT it collectively.

Life is Frequency and Vibration. When a STRUGGLE... like losing our temper, comes into our space, and we MASTER the energy--- the SHIFT goes out through the GRID, through ALL the WEB and EVERYONE receives the LIFT/SHIFT.

SO, the GREATEST SERVICE we give to HUMANITY is to Master Self-Discipline, LOVE, PEACE, Patience... etc.

Sometimes we walk in circles of despair (ME TOO!) asking why I chose the life I did, why the people in my life are doing or did what they did, why I had to go through the painful things I did.... 
and the answer is::::::;;;;;

I Chose it because looking down at our Little Earth Mama from the Pre-existence, I saw the things I wanted to SHIFT and knew in order to do it I GOT TO CHOOSE IN to the situations to Master and SHIFT the energy. SOME things ONLY occur in PHYSICAL FORM. 

AND WE ALL have SPIRITUAL SUPPORT, our own HEAVEN TEAM who's engaged in our efforts.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The I AM

The words "I AM" are the most powerful words on the planet. 
They are the two words that NO ONE else can speak FOR YOU.

No one has the authority to DEFINE WHO YOU ARE... the two words "I AM" are the declaration to our world that I CLAIM who I AM.

The I AM is a choice. 
The I AM is a moment to moment choice. 
It is NOT "I WAS"


IN THIS MOMENT I CHOOSE WHO I AM--- in spite of the past, of the high expectations of the future, regardless of what my parents are or friends.
I AM in this moment whatever I CHOOSE.

I Am a POWERFUL, COMPASSIONATE, RADIANT Being of LIGHT committed to share, spread and increase the LIGHT and LOVE in our world.

I spent decades HATING myself for what I thought I was, for what I had done or had been done to me, for what I looked like, for who I was told I was or wasn't... EVERYTHING that isn't even real.

What is REAL is my ETERNAL soul. My TRUTH. MY purpose, MY moment- the moments that string together to create ETERNITY. 

In every moment I HAVE THE POWER of CHOICE. THE CHOICE as to HOW I SHOW UP and the way I REFLECT WHO I AM.

I've spent the past few years asking kids, parents, cancer survivors... to tell me WHO they REALLY are.
I declare and trust that when we as humanity begin to SEE each other for who we are... who we ALL really are... we create world peace.
I know that as I CHOOSE my I AM I also choose the way I approach the world and SERVE my fellow soul brothers and sisters.

I am on a mission of DIVINE REMEMBRANCE for us all. Bring it on.

I am photographing  THE I AM MESSAGE photos TOMORROW 11/22 in SPRINGVILLE at the public library.
at 10 am til NOON in support of an event towards healing heartbreak after suicide loss. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Somewhere between AWAKE and ASLEEP...

I found myself somewhere between awake and asleep- The place where there are no LIES or TRUTH... just imagery and experience and sensations.

I have little 3x5 cards and a pen next to my bedside for these moments.

Here are some of what is written on them:

We all have RHYTHM- because we all come from SOURCE and the UNIVERSE is in perfect HARMONY and order and balance and RHYTHM. Connect with THAT and you will have your "BEAT."

Love without expectations. LOVE is a CHOICE.
Some people learn what LOVE is through being ~LOVED, others learn what LOVE is by  not being loved. The Gift is the OPTION TO CHOOSE LOVE.

~I love you. I love you in the "I want you to have everything you ever dreamed of in your life way." not the "I love you and want you to give me everything I've ever wanted way."

~I Believe that the guitar or drum ache to be played. When music flows through them they are most joyful, living their full potential. Most people live like a guitar on the shelf.


~My hunger for light was unsatiated and searching. I now realize it is and has always existed within me. I didn't come to this world to find the LOVE and LIGHT  but to BE IT.

~Dear God, I surrender to you all my thoughts and debts. I open my mind to receive and channel You through me in a way that serves the World.

~I won't speak OLD WORDS to you and expect you to find NEW WAYS of living and being. 
I will not regurgitate religion or packaged philosophy-retelling reasons told to me- without my OWN personal pondering and revelation. I will tell you the TRUTHS as I KNOW it to be- at this time, at this height of the trail on the mountain. ALWAYS open to new comprehension and truth. New VIEWS and perspectives as I continue to CLIMB this lofty peak.

~Forgiveness is ours. ALWAYS. God never withholds FORGIVENESS. The Process we sometimes take to "BE FORGIVEN" isn't about worthiness, but about opening to receive what is ALREADY FREE_FLOWING.
It is Done.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Great Big World

For thousands of years people could not connect.

Until 150 years ago, MOST people lived and died within 20 miles of where they were born.

There was no internet, no photographs readily available....

Right now, we are able to see images and information from across the globe. I've never been to Egypt, but it's one of my favorite places to learn about and research.
I've never been to Stonehenge; but because of the time we live in, I know what it is and how mysteriously beautiful and drawing it is to me.

I can share ideas and knowledge and insights with people on the other side of the planet.

All secrets are raising to the surface.

We are living in a purified time.

For centuries, the history books and scriptures were written by those who had political power. By whomever won the war.

News stories were written from the perspective of whomever had the largest dollar roll and could pay the reporter. Journalists and reporters were literally putting their lives in jeopardy by telling the TRUTH.
(Yes, I am aware that this is still happening)

But RIGHT NOW.... enough people have camera phones that we, as general public, can FIND the truth with a little dedication. I LOVE in the media when a story hits the news and immediately our population goes to youtube, or other social media to see what REALLY happened. The REAL photos and Videos from different perspectives from those people there on the streets, in the square, at the scene.

In America specifically, it is SAFE to be a Powerful and Spiritual Person. 
Up until now, and even on other places on the planet... you could be killed for that. Especially if you were a woman. 

One of the most biting but true things I often punch out in conversation is; "Up until this century, the word WITCH most often referred to a spiritually gifted healer who didn't have a penis."
(sorry... cover your virgin eyes if that sentence offended your sensibilities ;) )

We often judge (myself included) those in the past for doing things to other cultures and peoples that is ludicrous to our understanding now-
More Evil and War has been committed in the name of God than in the name of the Devil.
But, for most of humanity, FEAR ruled more than LOVE. Most people could only view and know their tiny little patch of cloth on the quilt... not see the whole.

Jesus was murdered because he taught that LOVE could rule. Jesus was also a Jew. A devout Jew. 

I ONLY point this out because it's such a GIFT to recognize that WE are poised at a time on this planet where we can learn from the greatest TRUTHS and WISDOM from all cultures, all belief systems, all journal entries of spiritual experiences, not just the bible.

I often say and teach at Drum Circles that TRUTH and BELIEF is nice but relatively worthless without application. It is TRUTH applied in our lives that matters. 
I don't care what ANYONE believes unless they live it. 
It is the LIVING it... the application of it that we can see the "Fruits thereof".

As a mother, I don't see it as MY work to teach my Children WHAT Truth is... but HOW TRUTH FEELS. 
They are here to create what they are here on this planet to create. I am here to do my work. My work is to SEE and honor the DIVINITY in ALL.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

It's strange to have people know me...

I assisted with a Gala. A Charity event that served the Women's and Children in Crisis Center, thousands of women attended, it was a successful and cherished event.

It was odd and surreal when a beautiful woman came up to me and called me by name and was super excited to talk to me.

I asked "Why do I not remember you?" I felt silly but I blurted it out... She knew a lot about me and I was going crazy "trying" to place her.

She told me she "follows" me on Facebook.

The Drum Circle Goddess.

                                                                        Photo Credit Robin Johnson Photography

This is the third time this has happened.

It's strange to me.

I'm just Katie Jo.

One of 5 daughters.
Normal. Average hair, height, size, weight, looks, intelligence.

I've never been someone to stand out in a crowd. I've never been someone I've considered to be proud of being. But I have seen and felt a lot of pain in this world. My own and others. I looked for Peace and Love in the world... and didn't find it.

I decided to create Love within- even if only temporarily. If it's alive within me... then there is one place in the world it resides. (IF I choose to hold it there)

I see people coming to drum circle. We counted 150 people at the last one. It was powerful, fun, spiritual--- life changing.

I show up, with drums and sticks and a playlist on my ipod.

It seems so strange that people see me.

I speak at drum circles and implore my new and dear friends to make a new reality by shifting the patterns we dance to (physically and metaphorically)... not because I've achieved it- not because I've fully learned to conquer fear or find love for myself ... but because I just felt like someone had to do something... and I thought "Well, I'm somebody." I hate it when other people tell me what to do... it wouldn't be fair to tell other people to fix it.

I like people to dance. I like to see them laugh. I like to see them wrap their arms around each others shoulders and lean on one another. I like to see people step in to serve and bless one another outside of agenda and judgement.

SO, I found a way to do it, and it's working.

But I never really thought people would notice me for it.

I'm mostly just open the gate and those who arrive... walk through.

Photo Credit Robin Johnson Photography

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Probably Karma I guess.... Stupid Karma

So this just happened.

After 3 weeks of having a broken washing machine... and taking it apart, YOUTUBE-ing the fix it stuff... calling my "GO-TO" people to see if they could do it; and ultimately ordering the part to repair it..........

I replaced it all my little Single Working Mom-Self... and as soon as the last bolt was in and the water began to fill... I teared up.

Single Mom moment. The "I can make it" moment. The "I'm going to write a blog-post about women's empowerment that's the bomb!" moment.

I started putting the tools away, loading the washer, etc etc.

Glancing back------------------ the agitator is STILL not moving.

It didn't work.

I stood still and watched the NOT slushing around water.

I reached in and hand washed the clothes.

Because we deserve clean clothes.
And Mom's do that.
Take care of stuff.

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Haunting of Halloween

Today is Halloween.

At this very 6:19 am moment, one of my children is awake and perfecting their ghoulish face paint.

I had intended to write this post yesterday-------- and didn't. I couldn't. I wasn't clear about what to say.... I'm still not.

Monday I was on my weekly phone call with my personal Life Coach Cindy Montano.

(find her facebook page here:  )

I set my intentions every week with her and this week one of them was to be strict with myself in eating Vegetarian.

ON HALLOWEEN WEEK!!!!!!!!!! ;)

In conversation with Cindy I explained that Halloween is extremely stressful for me. But keeping my word isn't.

I spent over a decade with an eating disorder. Having a house full of candy and chocolate and junk food is emotionally triggering for me. Making the commitment to eat healthy this week is relieving. Having support and encouragement from my dear friend and mentor assists my resolve.

Eating disorders are addictions similar to drug, alcohol, or other vices. Essentially, it is a way to avoid facing issues and emotional energy by turning one's focus onto a temporary distraction.

Just like an alcoholic chooses to see the world through the goggles of wine glasses... those with eating disorders choose to see the world as weight-loss, thin, not thin, etc. Instead of facing a world that is overwhelming and seems so daunting, where the answers aren't "cut and dry" or we don't know how to process feelings or "what to do" in life situations... we turn to what we know how to do...
Lose Weight. 2+2=4.

It's kind of like Ironing to me. I like Ironing. I don't know how to "fix" many dilemmas in my life... but give me a wrinkled shirt and in just moments... all chaos is now smooth and resolved.

Yes, for me, the weight loss/disorder was very much about self-hatred and rejection. I hated my body. I hated the way I looked. My face, my thighs, my arms, my ass... hated.
I avoided mirrors, I would walk down a different side of the street to avoid large windows that reflected my image. Until a few years ago, I didn't wear short sleeves or skirts or a bathing suit. Until a few years ago I didn't speak publicly in front of people. I was terrified and humiliated when they turned their heads and eyes towards me. 

Every time I facilitate a drum circle... sometimes with 100 people there, my bestie, personal assistant calms me down before we step in. "Breathe! Breathe! Breathe." she's the best. My hands are shaking right now writing about that.

BUT, part of why I do the drum circles... why I began The I Am Message photography movement is because I watch so many other teen girls and their mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmas... in similar self-loathing and rejection. I take photos of women/children/people with chalkboards telling us WHO they REALLY are... it's not about the physical appearance.

I thought I could pray myself out of hating myself... maybe I did. Because women showed up in my life who accepted themselves enough to love me and show me HOW to do it.

We dance and play at drum circles, as adults "let go" and empower each other and the teens there, things shift.

Cindy coaches me through many things... I don't know that "I'm Recovered" the same way that an alcoholic is perhaps never recovered.
It's something that HAUNTS me. I wish I could just "abstain" from anything that triggers the addiction... like other addicts can just "remove" the temptation of drugs or alcohol... but food is relatively essential. 
The addiction I fell into requires self-discipline and self-mastery. It is something I will MANAGE not eliminate from my life. 

A few weeks ago I was talking to Cindy and saying "I know my brain is getting a little twisted right now..." I explained that what I am "SEEING" in the mirror isn't matching reality.

"Like how?" she asked.
What I was seeing was fat. Lot's of it. It appeared as though overnight I gained 20 pounds. All I could see was lumps and cellulite. I was panicking.. (again my fingers are shaking now) SOoooo, I went and put on my jeans. They fit the same.

What I know now when this happens is that when my brain begins to "contort" things it's a survival mechanism I learned from so long ago. So the distortion is like a warning bell telling me there are emotional issues I'm ignoring and perhaps "blind" to that deserve attention.
Cindy coached me through it.

She's not an "expert" persay on eating disorders exactly, but what is important for parents and friends to realize is that disorders and addictions are SYMPTOMS of someone not knowing HOW to process something in their life. Eliminating the SYMPTOM doesn't dissolve the CAUSE. 
Going through processes of HOW to approach problems, work through things, face emotions and traumas, memories that we don't want to... is HOW to alleviate the SYMPTOM of an addiction.

Well... here's to Halloween... ! Lol.

A nightmare awoke me this morning that I had broken my word to Cindy and to myself and eaten sausage and chocolate.

But I'm resolved. I'm here. I'm sharing.
I share because I speak about these issues often to girls groups. I only share because there are others like me and parents of others like me who don't really "get" what's going on. And--- to be fair, I can only share what I know for me. It may not be the reasons for everyone.

Happy Haunting. :)

For local Utahns, here's a website that can assist you or one you love who may be struggling.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The People Like Mountains

I am so grateful to have been raised in the protective embrace of Utah Mountains.

As a young child, I stood with my classmates on the asphalt playground while our teacher, Mrs. Wallace, was explaining North, East, West, South.
It was as simple as knowing the Big Mountains were East. As long as I knew that- I could find the other directions.

Yesterday, I was in a small city I rarely pass through and I was unfamiliar with the rural roads and dead ends. My compass was the Mountains. I trusted that all I had to do was keep going South- using the Mountains as a reference and eventually I would find the "Ol' highway" - which I did.

As I drove along the ripened farmers fields and dirt roads I realized that for me- I have been blessed with people like Mountains.

People who I reflect on; remember,and show up. Because of the way they are and the way they live... I trust that I'll find MY OWN way. 

The people that often arrive in my life or to my events and I look over to see their face among many faces and a sense of peace and comfort washes over me. I know I'll be alright. I know there are those that love and support me. My Mountains. 

I'll navigate, I'll do what I get to do, say what I get to say - every so often glancing over at their beautiful faces and know where I am and where I get to go next.

Life is like that too. "Good or Bad", "fun or not-fun-at-the-time" experiences that have been the Mountains of my life story. The things that shaped who I am; direct my way of living, being and the way I make decisions- even the way I choose to love. The Mountains. 

Here, East is where the Mountains are. In Native American Culture... East is the direction and Spirit of New Beginnings, of Hope, of seeing the world through new eyes and innocence and humility. 

May we all have our "Mountains" May we all have our People Like Mountains.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

I Was a Liar and a Thief

The other day, someone from my past... from 20 years ago was teasing me about how I was once a thief.

It was perplexing.
I have learned so very harshly that decisions we make in our youth can follow us for decades.

Also, it's interesting to spend decades living and serving and choosing different and still have teenage thoughtlessness be a way to be identified by.

There are people in my life... and by the words "in my life" I mean on the perimeters of my life, those who are on the outer circle persay, who still interact with me in a way that reminds me they are in relationship with the Girl who existed almost 20 years ago- and not the woman I am today.

My reply to the conversation and person was "Did you know I gave everything to charity?'
Which they didn't.

You see, I took t-shirts and stupid things. I went through my room, my closet, with a fine tooth comb and anything that was "gained" unscrupulously; I donated to charity. Clothing.

YES; I was eventually caught and the $2500 fine and "Slap on the Hands" wasn't necessarily why I never stole again... (in fact, I return pens to the bank if I absentmindedly drive away.)

WHY did I learn? What was the lesson? If it wasn't the fine and the slap on the hands, what was it?

I had JUST turned 18 when I got caught stealing a t-shirt, SOOOOOOOooooo- being an "adult" I didn't have to tell my parents, and I assumed they wouldn't find out.

Sitting in the courtroom though, waiting for my name to be called by the judge to stand at the podium- I heard the doors to the courtroom open and there in the halo of the doorway was my dad.

He pointed at me. I stood and with my terror filled heart, I followed his beckoning out of the courtroom, into a small "Council" room for attorneys.

With my head hanging in shame I answered the questions he asked about the situation.

At the end of the conversation, my dad spoke to me in quiet but powerful tone and said "Katie, I'm sorry that I have failed you as a dad. I'm sorry that you wouldn't know that regardless of what you have done, or how hard it is you can come to me and I will stand by you."

The words hit me like a hammer to my soul.

"Let's go." he finished, and we went back into the courtroom and stood at the podium together.

I wish I could say that that was the end of my self destructive and self loathing behavior... but it wasn't. However, that experience has fundamentally shifted my entire life and effected the way I parent and choose to love my kids.

That day my dad showed me what being a dad was. I know he was embarrassed. I know I was ashamed. I feel guilt over that day still to this day.
But all I can say is... I learned. Thank God for that. Thank you Dad for that. 

And, I Am NOT my past. I AM NOT my future. I AM this moment. In THIS MOMENT, I hold Eternity in my hands and heart. I AM LOVE as I choose to be LOVE in this moment. I AM LIGHT. 

I Am.

Friday, October 24, 2014

That Still Small Voice

I remember I learned to channel in different ways, only I didn't call it that.

When I was a young teen and asked to speak in church from time to time, I found that if I stayed up late enough, and got tired enough then eventually I could just sit and write a page of whatever subject was given and not have to rewrite or edit it.... this was easier persay than struggling to write it.

I found that people in the congregation would come up to me afterwards from the speech and ask for copies of what I had said.

With artwork, if I try to "force" a sketch or drawing... it seems to never work out. BUT, when people hire me to paint commissions or drums I sit with the drum for a while... a couple weeks usually, in fact I tend to hang the blank drum in my living room. Day after day I look at it and eventually I "SEE" the painting on the drum. When this happens I just trace what I "SEE."

Once, a gentleman had hired me to do a certain painting and I called him after a few weeks saying "The painting you requested isn't showing up. Something else is." I explained the image that kept "arriving" on the drum and he was in shock. Apparently, it represented something that he had never told me or anyone else and it was sacred and important to him.

The image I saw is the one we painted.

When I am asked to paint a drum or carve a drumstick... it is an honor. I see it and deem it reverent and blessed.

I know that whatever we create on this side of 3D (3rd dimension) extends beyond energetically throughout the universe. I know that as we BEAT our Drums and come from the heart... the ECHO goes forward and backward in time and space.

I am so grateful to watch the way people are opening their hearts.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Things I Rarely Speak About

I was scared. I was embarrassed.

I was walking down the short cement steps with bushes and hedges around them into the basement BYU apartment my friends rented in Provo.

The way the entry worked is that once you passed through the door there was a 15 foot hallway you traveled through before turning right into the combination of kitchen/living room.

I could hear the television on- my fingertips trembled as they trailed along the passage wall... knowing I was about to face my friends for the first time after being released from the hospital for my suicide attempt.
I was nervous. I was ashamed. I was broken. I needed them to forgive me. I needed them to love me.

I hoped they would comfort me.

I turned the corner pensively and stood there for a moment before they realized I was there.

They sat on the sofa, eyes glued to whatever was on the TV. Three of them. I believe it was Nicole that noticed me first. She glanced over and I saw shock on her face as she connected the dots of me standing nervously, half hidden by the partition wall.

She began to cry and rushed over to hug me. Debbie was at her heels and we all embraced and cried.

The third friend stayed sitting. Told me "Hello" and I noticed she was wearing my cashmere sweater, new skirt, and $200 boots. Apparently, she had raided my closet in my 11 day absence.

Later that night, I told her to take my clothes off- and she was angry because I wasn't going anywhere for the evening and she had a date. She didn't understand why it mattered or why I wouldn't share. In fact, she said I was greedy and selfish- this was an important date.

It's almost two decades since that time in my life.
I still cry remembering what those years were like.

I speak to youth groups and women's groups often and support families who lost members to suicide now.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Teens

You may or may not know I have a special place in my heart for Teens.

I see young children so free, I watch them enter their teens and begin to box themselves in.

Simultaneously as they stretch their wings they also tend to stop being free.

Often I see them tortured by the mind made electric fences of  "What will my peers think?" wanting to fit in and also be different.

This is when their world opens up so large... they are exposed to large groups of people and other teens coming from diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and upbringing... they get to see there are THOUSANDS of ways to live and be and think and suddenly what they knew growing up has come into question.. the question of "Is the way I was taught- the best way? Is there a different way? What way is MY way?"

I really believe everyone's bottom line (teens too) is the same:


All efforts are in pursuit of that.

As parents if we do NOTHING else, let us teach them they are LOVED.

LOVED without agenda, LOVED whether or not they achieve ANYTHING, whether or not they believe as we do, whether or not they look perfect, or earn perfect grades.

We can only show them... by LOVING and ACCEPTING ourselves.
Routinely in speaking events I do, I have Mother's say their daughters refuse to love themselves or believe they are beautiful... and I see they are mirror imaging their Mother's.

As Mother's pray for this by their bedside saying "How? How can I teach them they are beautiful and loved?" the answer from God is always the same "By acknowledging YOU are beautiful and worthy of LOVE."

I facilitate Drum Circles. I gather groups of people together. I see the adult women in the group laugh and dance and empower one another. I see them JUMP UP and SERVE one another. I see them OPEN AND FREE and willing to look SILLY.

And guess what....
I see the teens... step forward and give themselves permission to do the same.

Last night I watched as the teens stepped forward and began to act out and play and laugh and sing and be dramatic and goofy... I watched as the women and other adults encouraged them and cheered them on and sent LOVE and ACCEPTANCE to them.

I watched the LIGHT within them GROW as they recognized it was OKAY to be DIFFERENT and being UNIQUE was Divine. Being UNIQUE was welcomed and empowered and revered.

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Plight of Beautiful Girls

I haven't written for a while.
I get busy.
My life gets jumbled and un-jumbled all at the same time.

I know this may sound strange... but there is a plight of beautiful girls.

First, let me start off by acknowledging I have been called a beautiful girl before.
Second, let me explain that for over a decade I thought I was so ugly, unappealing an hideous that I would avoid walking past large windows that reflected me or mirrors.

People would tell me I was beautiful and it was as if they were speaking a different language to me... I could logically understand the words coming out of their mouths but they made no connection or comprehension to me. 

What I knew and experienced was that male friends would often engage with me as wolves in sheep's clothing... under the guise of friendship- they would make their way close to me and after I opened slightly to their camaraderie... they would "go in for the kill" plan... the "SOMEDAY" plan. The " I am her friend because I'm sure someday we will be in bed together" plan.

Naturally, eventually they believed me that I saw them only as friends- and typically, they became angry, rejected, withdrawn and often cruel.
You see, they felt as though I had done them a severe injustice... not because I wasn't clear from the beginning --- but because of their own "Someday" plan.

So.... friends.... were never "just friends" and as an Empath, I can usually feel their hidden thoughts... even before they do.

As a teen I began to think my only value to a man was physical. After all.... even their "friendships" were only as lasting as the illusion of their possibility of physicality was still hovering in the air. 

I began to withdraw myself. 

image credit;

I learned not to reach out and hold a hand, or hug, or stare directly into the eyes of a "male friend" not to laugh or sing or dance or casually talk lightly.  I learned not to reach over and pat the knee of a good friend while we drove or told jokes... nothing to encourage them.

I also learned how lonely it was to feel as though I was devoid of physical touch. That no touch was okay. Any attempt at mine to extend a hand or hug in "love" could be misconstrued and eventually have a dear one turn on me.

I walled up.

As a girl that others identified as "beautiful"... being severely shy wasn't interpreted that way... but because of others perceptions of what I thought of myself... others didn't get I was shy... but snobby and stuck up. My silence was read as condescension... instead of insecurity.

As a girl others identified as "beautiful":  my girl friend relationships lasted as long as they were single or un-threatened. If their boyfriend and I had a conversation or if I laughed at their jokes... obviously- I was trying to steal him away. Many many times... my teen girl "friends" would make a pre-emptive strike and cut their friendships with me or try to humiliate me in some way... especially if their boyfriend said anything along the lines of "Katie's cool."

With boyfriends, they were possessive, insecure of themselves and their ability to keep me interested or away from other "predator" men... so they would control or punish me - for talking to another male. Naturally... if I was "beautiful" I had no sense of limits and could easily be seduced by another male.....

image credit:

If any of you have met me in person, you probably recognize my dominant energy is feminine and sensual. I wear lace and love to talk and interact and connect emotionally. My energy is and has always been sensual. That doesn't mean I have no boundaries or limits. If I am present- the energy is present. When I touch someones shoulder innocently- my energy is there, but it is not an advance.

To be honest... in many ways I prefer interactions with men who are openly upfront about wanting me to be sexual with them. It's refreshing- not because I jump into bed, but because there's no turmoil I pick up in their emotions, no hidden agenda-( known or unknown) we handle the issue up front by acknowledging it and move forward. IN FACT, these have been some of my favorite and most lasting friendships.

I still have self confidence issues. I still encounter women who openly despise me, but I am aware that the way I see myself isn't always the way that others see me.

I have grown and learned to accept myself tremendously over the last few years, due to intensive soul searching and divine friendships of women and men who are secure enough in themselves and their foundation that there is no competition or hidden intentions. 

I am writing this because so many times we see women (and men) who are physically beautiful and think they have it all... that they know it; that they are "SO LUCKY."
I'm writing because for many of those "BEAUTIFUL" people are dramatically lonely and boxed in and continuously on guard against the "Takers" and to be fair... most of the time- the "Takers" aren't aware of what they are doing.

Just some thoughts and insights. Consider this the next time you want to pull down, criticize, or feel suspicious of someone you deem "beautiful"---- if you get to know them, you may realize that MOST OF THE TIME... they don't feel that way about themselves at all.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Bursts of COLOR

Journal Entry June 26th, 1995

(17 years old... almost grown up)


I want the intensity, the ecstasy, the despair. I want the experiences that I've only read about. I want to find out who the REAL me is. I want the purpose of life to apply to me. I want the FREEDOM from my parents- NOW before the responsibility of being grown up is intact. I want to be there, see it all, feel it all, hear the message and SPEAK THE DIVINITY.

I want to float somewhere out by myself soaking in the sunshine. I want to know the answers to my questions.
I want to know why I can't commit. I want to know why people seem so insignificant, why the human race seems so futile and "humanity" is fiction and bullshit.
I want to learn how to LOVE and devote and FEEL SO DEEPLY that the core of me aches like a train ripping though me.
I want to NOT think that I'm going crazy. I want to be me. 
I want to know what that is. 
Katie Jo 1995 (wearing Brians sweater.... taking the dare to go into the boys bathroom at school) 

Friday, September 5, 2014

David The Prophet of Old

The same David who was a murderer and adulterer also slew Goliath.

It is the whole of life that matters, the moments, choices and ways of being that create the WHOLE.

                                                image credit N. C. Wyeth Children of the Bible 

He was a man- a Divine Being who lived with human weaknesses.

Bathsheba doesn't discount Goliath or visa versa.

If anything, his story teaches that ANY one can rise and ANY can fall. In fact, because of David's story I have more compassion for Davids' tormentor King Saul.

                                                       David and Bathsheba by Jean-Leon Gerome

We all have Goliath's and we all have our Bathsheba's. 

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Diamonds and Divorce

We are drawn to our perfect relationships.
The perfect opportunities to evolve to the greatest extent.

Whether harmonious or disharmonious... we are drawn to the relationship that will cause us the greatest growth and opportunity towards our potential.

A woman sat across the glass counter from me. She was discouraged and despondent. Her hair was colored blonde, but it was clear that as a child that would have been her natural color; her nails and clothing pristine; her make up flawless.
Between us was a large diamond ring set in yellow gold with many smaller diamonds accenting the bands. It sat there silently; to her- mockingly.

"We were married 25 years." was all she said as she stared blankly at the ring. Something that had once meant so much- now served as a painful reminder.

Originally, she had intended to sell me the ring. At the Jewelers Store I manage; this is common. But what we pay for a ring isn't what she paid for it retail or what it's "worth" persay so she sat thoughtfully, dejectedly.

She had already explained to me how her husband had left her for a younger woman. How her semi adult children were devastated. How she had never worked before but was now facing the reality of caring for herself.

"I can't believe I wasted all that time. Just to have a failed marriage."
She wasn't really talking to me anymore.

"It wasn't a waste of time and it wasn't a failure." I responded and this statement brought her eyes up towards my face, conscious again of the moment, suspicious but hopeful in my words.

"What do you mean?"

"You learned.
Life is about learning. You spent 25 years learning Love, patience, forgiveness, parenting, partnership... you learned in ways YOU NEVER WOULD HAVE or COULD HAVE-had that man not been in your life."

I could see the glimmer of understanding begin in her eyes.

"The goal in life isn't a 'Happy Marriage' the goal in life is to evolve to Mastery, to know our power and divinity... and EVERYTHING we do and experience is TOWARDS that goal. SO every relationship and experience is a SUCCESS ------- IF we make the choice to learn from it. That is the gift."

She cried.

Then we took her Old Diamond Ring and disassembled it. We pulled all the stones out, used the large diamond as a trade in and took the small diamonds to create TWO Beautiful Gemstone Pendants with a halo of diamonds each for her TWO daughters with their birthstones.

We CHANGED the story of the ring into a gift from their Mother (and in a way from their Father too.)

Katie Jo is the Sales Manager at Duke's Jewelers, a family owned diamond store thriving for 7 decades. Specializing in Custom Design, Repair, Bridal Jewelry and Appraisals.

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Inspired Writers Retreat

What more beautiful setting than Park City, Utah?
What better gift to receive than the words of Authors who are genuinely writing to make a change in the world and BE their TRUTH?

Bridget Cook Burch, New York Times Best Selling Author creates workshops to serve aspiring authors.
I was honored to be asked to take photos of the weekend, be involved in the process, and take pics of MY PASSION and MY MESSAGE... which is, "WHO ARE YOU? What is YOUR MESSAGE?"

These are some of the answers.