“Woman of the Week”
J O J O W I L L I A M S
Sometimes, hearing someone described as a “force of nature” is intimidating. It sounds commanding, relentless, overpowering. JoJo Williams is most certainly a force of nature, but is not one bit intimidating: She commands camaraderie, is relentlessly optimistic, and overpowers with love. She is, for reasons that fundamentally make her JoJo, our Woman of the Week.
The first thing that struck me about JoJo was her openness. She immediately told me that she’d been a mess in her earlier life, a life that was spiraling out of control only a few years ago. In 2011, she was painfully unhappy, facing medical issues and family trauma that were largely, by her own admission, a result of her codependency. She was overweight, in a wheelchair, on numerous medications that were making her feel ever worse, and she didn’t know how to change her situation. She didn’t know how to ask for help, and had no reason to trust herself or others. She didn’t know how to get out; all she knew is that she had to get out or she’d never survive. She’d been playing tug-of-war with her demons and was exhausted.
So, in a moment of bravery few people experience, she stopped playing tug-of-war. She dropped the rope. She walked away. JoJo looked at the life she had, knew it wasn’t the life she wanted or deserved, and she took matters into her own hands in a dramatic way.
JoJo sold and gave away all the possessions she’d acquired in 25 years of living and raising her children in Sacramento. Can you imagine? Just got rid of it. Gone. She bought a trailer, told only a handful of people where she was going, and for the next few years, was towed by strangers to the California parks and land she would call home. She met, befriended, and trusted strangers to help her along her journey.
And what a journey that has been. She started taking care of herself, physically, mentally, and emotionally. She got healthy, and off medication. She gave up TV and read everything in sight and then some; focusing on Eastern and Western philosophies. The books she read led to emotional health and a burgeoning life philosophy: love. She named her trailer One Love, and, with new friends adding touches along the way, painted a Tree of Life on the side.
When I talked to JoJo, her capacity for love and optimism was obvious. She believes that we are all interconnected, that opening ourselves to people and experiences is essential to living on this planet. But, being open does not mean being taken advantage of. JoJo is open to all things, but is discerning about who she spends time with. She stays away from people who are judgmental, and has found that people who don’t support growth and love just fade away from her life. She carries no resentment, and has forgiven the people in her past. She no longer tries to save everyone, rather, she tries to help people create the lives they want. She has thrown herself wholeheartedly into life, into a life well lived and into connecting with others in their lives.
Connecting and building is what JoJo does now. She’s been wildly successful in network marketing, building a team of 1,000 people and earning an income that allows her to live in Santa Cruz and take time with her niece and nephew. She gave One Love to a woman who needed it, but with the stipulation that the trailer never be sold, it can only be gifted to someone in need who will care for it.
As she settles into a life she consciously builds, JoJo has her eye on the horizon. What’s next? A nonprofit. Her goal is to build sustainable living projects around the world. Places that help people connect with each other, and that leave a minimal footprint on the planet. She has a fierce determination, a seemingly unlimited capacity for love, and a deep sense of community. We are proud to have JoJo Williams, this force of nature, as our Woman of the Week. Congratulations, and thank you, JoJo!