Broken Conditions Jo Lena Johnson

Volume 1 of the Clean Colored Girl Chronicles Book Series

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Listen to Jo Lena Johnson read from her latest book, Broken Conditions, Volume 1 of The Clean Colored Girl Chronicles, go here: http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CCnZdQ2k




The Clean Colored Girl Chronicles are stories from one woman’s life as she shares how relationships made her and broke her. As she learned how to navigate through being a daughter with parent issues, a black woman, single woman, dating woman, married yet unhappy woman, divorced woman and an entrepreneur, she is a clean colored girl, making it in the world. Trials keep you strong when you learn to endure them, and that she does.



Clean Colored Girl

Being a Clean Colored Girl is being courageous, perseverant and remaining openhearted, even when it hurts, facing interesting and difficult situations in life and becoming resilient as a result.



Broken Conditions

Broken Conditions are often rooted in family dynamics and many times we don’t know the effects of the past until life happens and it’s difficult to cope or heal. People don’t mind breaking others because they are already broken and we all know, misery loves company. Once broken, restoration is possible – by putting the past where it belongs, because it has passed. Peeling through the pain is what most people need to do in order to get beyond their Broken Conditions.



Why is resilience important?

Resilience is the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens. You matter. Overcoming life’s challenges takes resilience.



The Clean Colored Girl Association

We stay connected internationally through a group hosted on Facebook. In person, we are forming chapters around the country. It’s time for women to connect through life and struggles, coming out better, on the other side.




Book Reviews for Broken Conditions by Jo Lena Johnson



Broken Conditions is an honest account of the life experiences of a “clean colored girl.” The author doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel here. She simply tells the stories that many women, colored or otherwise, can relate to. The stories that shape who we become over and over again; growing up a product of divorce, the struggle of the mother-daughter relationship, and MEN! These are stories of failure and brokenness and growth and resilience. Johnson’s storytelling is such that you’ll place yourself in the back seat of that Cadillac with the trumpet player’s friend as he starts to urinate in a cup. You’ll experience the terror of hiding in the bathroom as a drug-addicted man kicks in the back door. You can taste the excitement of living out your dreams in Los Angeles and the fulfillment of finding God and purpose. This is a good and quick read that will leave you wanting Volume 2.” – Faith Conner, Host, The Platform 314 Podcast




Broken Conditions is fantastic! It reminds me of books like Eat, Love, Pray by Elizabeth Gilbert or Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan. It’s real and keeps you reading. How lucky Jo Lena is to have an amazing and interesting life. She was always starting “projects,” i.e. relationships, endeavors, etc. in the book that weren’t always necessarily for the betterment of her soul. Just her filling the holes. Channeling this book into a movie; now that’s a better project. Everyone is soul searching and will connect with her story.” – Shannon Tocco




Broken Conditions is the perfect book for a quick weekend read. Jo Lena does an excellent job of being relatable and real. In fact, I almost felt like she and I were sitting on my couch with a cup of Joe while she told me about her life. From struggles as a child and rocky relationships in her 30s to triumph as a business woman, Broken Conditions takes you on a journey that shows you exactly why Jo Lena Johnson is the “Absolute Good Resilience Coach.” – Katy Beigel




“I’m sorry, but then again, I’m not sorry, because God has a way of using us and our stories for his good. In reading Broken Conditions, I saw myself, my mother, the stepfather and men in my own life. As a child, we are in a play called “Life” and it just happens. After growing up in a whirlwind, I had to make conscious decisions not just for myself, but for my three sons. I didn’t want to succumb to drinking, drugs, and being a whore. The love and respect I had for my kids made me respect me. I have this survivors guilt, how did I go through so much in life without going crazy, going to jail, or even dead? My discovery is, I’ve been kept by God to share the only truth I know. This life doesn’t belong to me, and I must share his grace and mercy even when I don’t fully understand the purpose or plan of the journey. I love you so much for sharing, and allowing me to be a part of your journey.” – Delena Evans




“Reading Broken Conditions made me feel like I wasn’t alone, not that I would want someone to ever go through my situation of life, but the reality is that these issues are more prominent than mentioned. The book made me think about the many ladies and gentlemen like me going through obstacles and over hurdles of life because of the dysfunctional conditions in which they were raised has an adverse effect on their being. Their normal adaptation has repercussions for their tomorrow.” – Robin Thomas



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Chapter Excerpt: Broken Conditions by Jo Lena Johnson

Audio Preview: Broken Conditions, Volume 1 of The Clean Colored Girls Chronicles


Once he proposed, did I really need my house? He had a huge one… but I had to finish my house. Since I was working full-time, he took the lead in being a junior project manager, directing workers to rip out the drop-ceilings throughout the second floor. That bright idea cost me at least $5,000 because the entire place had to be dry walled, mudded and painted, which was not part of the plan that I had written down in spreadsheet form and had given to him. Whew. At the time I didn’t understand how those little things were piling up. I got it when the trash literally piled up.


Over the winter I bundled the trash and asked him to take it out. The trash dumpster was located in the alley behind the house, which required going through the sun porch and the locked, chain link gate. I didn’t mind shared domestic duties but I wasn’t taking the trash outside; I trusted him to do it. As spring arrived and it was an early-in-the-season 55 degree day, after a bone chilling winter, I decided to venture out to take the trash myself.


I opened the door leading to the back porch and there sat at least 20 big, black garbage bags piled up and thawing – all of the trash he supposedly took out over the winter!!! When I say I was shocked, appalled and confused at the same time, that’s an understatement. When he got home I ripped into him and all he could say was that he needed to go through the bags to make sure there wasn’t anything in there which could identify him or which didn’t need to be saved. I assured him I had removed all magazine labels and blacked out any prescription bottles. It wasn’t enough. The more he tried to rationalize the irrational, the more irate I became. Now the tremendous piles of stuff in the basement made sense. He couldn’t throw anything away. I forced him to open that gate and I marched right along with my man to that alley-way trash can, putting every single black bag in the trash.


Afterward I cried. I cried for me. I cried for us. And mostly, I cried for him. In that moment it was clear to me, he had real problems. Because of my ingrained habit of taking care of grown people and co-dependency encouraging habits, I wouldn’t leave him – he needed me. But, I wanted to. I was committed to our situation, but not that far gone. I knew I would never set a wedding date. Why I was willing to take one for the team and continue to deal with him has to do with my holes. It wasn’t healthy or right, but it was true. Daily, little mess-ups, little fibs, little mistakes and then the water was off.


Child, when I say the water was off, it was off. I called him, to which he replied, “I just paid the bill, they will be there tomorrow to turn it back on.”


“What??? You didn’t pay the bill? It takes notice after notice before water gets turned off. What happened?”


I couldn’t trust him.


( Continued... )


© 2018 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Jo Lena Johnson. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.



Purchase Books by Jo Lena: http://jolenajohnson.com/index.php/store/



Broken Conditions, Volume 1 of the Clean Colored Girl Chronicles Book Series

Autobiography/Biography/Memoir By Jo Lena Johnson
Published by Mission Possible Press
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-9861818-8-7
Audiobook ISBN-13: 978-0-9861818-9-4

Jo Lena Johnson

Jo Lena Johnson

Intimate Conversation with Author & Publisher Jo Lena Johnson

Jo Lena Johnson, The Absolute Good Resilience Coach, is a Certified Mediator, International Trainer, Acclaimed Author and Writing Coach, Founder and CEO of Absolute Good Training and Life Skills Management, and Publisher of Mission Possible Press.


Principle-focused, results-driven, and heart-centered, Jo Lena has taught over 100,000 people worldwide with her no-nonsense and dynamic approach. With messages of how to effectively communicate, manage conflict, and how to maintain even after something bad happens (resilience). Become uniquely self-aware, unburdened, enlightened and empowered through spending time with Ms. Johnson.



BPM: What made you want to become a writer? How long have you been writing?
I’ve always had a lot to say. Speaking is not always the best way to express myself because I’m passionate, outspoken and direct. Because I come from my heart, it’s not always easy to say or receive some of what I need to express. Writing is safer. I can share bits, pieces and all of it – and the reader can choose how much they can take, if they want to engage. I’ve been writing books since 2009. I’ve been keeping juicy journals forever!



BPM: How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
Using words, pithy sayings and humor to share, connect, delight and sometimes entertain is challenging and fun. Whenever people read or listen to something I’ve written and be influenced by it, especially emotionally is beyond me, however, some say the way I speak from the heart is creative.



BPM: Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?
Absolutely. More pain requires more release. Writing about my experiences with family, friends, and former lovers and with my own internal struggles has allowed me to mature through what has happened, and add gratitude in the process. As a result, some of the things which have happened, at their core are truly meant to build. I appreciate that God is more interested in my character development than in my comfort.



BPM: How has writing impacted your life?
Before I started writing, I was an avid reader, reading nearly 100 books a year, mostly on planes as I was traveling for work. My life was better because of the things I read. One day I decided to write a children’s book to improve the life of my soon-to-be-born niece. I realized I could reach and teach so many more people if I wrote what was in my heart and mind. On many levels, it’s allowed me to serve others, and that is fulfilling. There are so many problems people deal with. If I can share something which offers perspective, then perhaps my own struggles have been worth it.



BPM: What was one of the most surprising things you learned while creating your books?
How much people can be comforted and empowered by honesty, personal experiences and truth. That writing, expressing and reading can truly be a healthy experience for readers and for me.



BPM: How do you find or make time to write?
I do my best writing when I feel deeply – be it extreme hurt, intense anger or injustice. It’s because it comes from my pain and from my soul. Getting it out helps me to process, move through, heal and choose to deal with what has occurred. I may or may not “do anything” with what I write, but if and when I do, it usually comes off as genuine, sincere and helpful to others – because I’m being transparent and again – in touch with my pain. So I don’t sound like Debbie Downer, I also share happy times and victories – but they are more easily sharable so I may make calls or do videos when those things happen versus writing them down per se.



BPM: How did you choose the genre you write in? Have you considered writing in another genre?
I primarily write non-fiction because life is so interesting. I haven’t considered writing fiction for myself though I have coached a few novelists. I plan to stick with non-fiction because we’ll never run out of material. There are so many real, true and important stories to tell. Getting creative by writing like I speak is one of my hallmarks. I think people appreciate feeling like they know the author.



BPM: Please describe your most recent work. Available on Nook and Kindle?
The Clean Colored Girl Chronicles are stories from one woman’s life as she shares how relationships made her and broke her. As she learned how to navigate through being a daughter with parent issues, a black woman, single woman, dating woman, married yet unhappy woman, divorced woman and an entrepreneur, she is a clean colored girl, making it in the world. Trials keep you strong when you learn to endure them, and that she does.


Broken Conditions, Volume 1 of The Clean Colored Girl Chronicles highlights the author’s college years and chronicles key relationships, which lead to drama, adventure, hurt and poor choices into her 30s. See how growing up affects and influences almost every decision, relationship and behavior. When what she learned wasn’t working, she did something about it … sometimes!


Broken Conditions releases January 16, 2018. Lady and the Chief, Volume 2 will be released during the summer and Married and Divorced in the Same Year, Volume 3, will be released in the winter of 2018. Each of the books will be available on Nook, Kindle and as audio books, narrated by me. I’m so excited.




BPM: Give us some insight about the series and the first book in The Clean Colored Girl Book Chronicles.
People don’t mind breaking others because they are already broken and we all know, misery loves company. Once broken, restoration is possible. I am excited to put the past where it belongs, because it has passed. But in between, a whole lot of holes happened. These are my stories of life, love, grace and resilience. By reading my chronicles, maybe readers can get some perspective to help with their pasts – or at least avoid some of my failings and shortcomings.


Peeling through the pain is what I think most people need to do in order to get beyond their Broken Conditions. Broken Conditions are often rooted in family dynamics and many times we don’t know the effects of the past until life happens and it’s difficult to cope or heal. With time, the layers are thicker, the contents more fragile. Hurt is real and deep and festers when allowed to collect, rotting in your soul, mind and emotions.


Peeling hurts, too, because the infected areas become exposed. Facing exposure can be shameful, embarrassing and difficult. Yet peeling can be soothing as the core is safe, if you can get to it. Reading the series helps people get to the core, and ultimately safety, if they are willing.



BPM: What Does Being a Clean Colored Girl Mean?
“Being a Clean Colored Girl is being courageous, perseverant and remaining openhearted, even when it hurts, facing interesting and difficult situations in life and becoming resilient as a result.” – Jo Lena Johnson, The Absolute Good Resilience Coach



The Clean Colored Girl Chronicles are stories from my life as I share how relationships made and broke me. As I learned how to navigate through being a daughter with parent issues, a black woman, single woman, dating woman, married yet unhappy woman, divorced woman and an entrepreneur. I remained a clean colored girl, making it in the world! Trials keep you strong when you learn to endure them, and that’s how I survived and lived to write about it. LOL.



BPM: Sounds interesting. Why did you create a series about your life, especially since you’re not yet a senior citizen?
It’s all Jennifer’s fault! She’s one of my best friends and also my assistant. When we started out, it was going to be one book, Married and Divorced in the Same Year. I sent her all of my notes and thoughts and she threw out three fourths of what I had written! I was not a happy camper! When I asked her why she did so, she told me that the other stories weren’t part of the marriage. I replied, “Everything that happened in my life led to that marriage at 45 years old. You can’t just throw it away!” She reasoned, I listened. I understood her point of view, however, I couldn’t speak of the outcome without laying the foundation so I told her we were doing three books. She laughed, smiled and said, “Okay…” and here we are.



BPM: What can we expect from Volumes 2 and 3? Can we get a quote or description?
Lady and the Chief, Volume 2: My story, my experiences and my choices are bigger than me. What I do, say and how I behave affects many people and until I acknowledge that and act accordingly, I’m letting people down. Some things which have happened are sad and disappointing while others are fun, adventurous and sexy.


I can’t take anything back or erase it from history, nor can I bury my head in the sand and walk in shame for the rest of my life. I had to learn how to bounce back and keep bouncing back after each defeat and victory, since I was saved from my own self, and at times, others. That’s what life is about – dealing with what happened and acting differently as new things happen. This book covers a long distance love affair which ended in dramatic fashion. Let’s just say, the other woman got him and they make a great married pair.


Married and Divorced in the Same Year, Volume 3: We should have never married. Yet, we did. Of course I didn’t know it at the time, or I wouldn’t have done it. It was an experience deserving of the story being told, and I’m a better woman for it. I’ve learned that many people have had some of these quick marriages – and many others, wish they had! It’s juicy, interesting and crazy at the same time. His ‘new’ wife is the one for him!!!



BPM: What was your hardest part to write?
Talking about incidents which happened with my mom as I was growing up. Some of what I describe is very personal to her, and it shaped our relationship. Honestly, we had never spoken of many of the things I reveal and I felt she would be closed to me disclosing certain things.


Yet, I couldn’t be honest about my holes if I didn’t talk about where some of them originated. The day I went to read her Broken Conditions, I was scared. I truly thank God we both survived the seven-hour session. She listened and heard my heart that day, perhaps for the first time, ever. I also listened and gained perspective about her choice, life and feelings. It was amazing – real breakthroughs for us both. In her artsy, little loft, two Clean Colored Girls came together and began healing our Broken Conditions. I hope that for each person who reads and listens.



BPM: Does writing energize you?
It depends on what I’m writing. If I’m fired up because of social injustice, I’m hot. Power to the people! If I’m recounting pain, I’m refreshed, because it’s flowing out. If I’m writing a note of encouragement to someone, I’m grateful and honored. Never really thought about being energized.



BPM: Have you written any other books that are not published?
Of course. I have about 13 on the computer now. They include a children’s book series about love, life and color, with my dear Aunt Jerry as the central character, along with her white dog named Blu. And several others for teens and adults which may come to pass one day.



BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?
I’ve just finished a project, acting as a writing coach with Audrey and Larry Jones, a married couple of 45 years whose book, Falling Through the Ceiling, Our ADD Family Memoir, is releasing early in 2018. Working with them, helping them share about their lives and experiences raising three sons with ADHD and Larry the husband having ADD was unique, fulfilling and interesting.


As the publisher of Mission Possible Press, we are releasing the new novel Black Hearts White Minds, a legal thriller by Mitch Margo, in January. It’s a great book about race relations, hatred, love and old fashioned American values set in 1964 Alabama. It’s heartbreaking that we are experiencing some of the same issues today, but also makes the book relevant and important in today’s society.



BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
My personal website is JoLenaJohnson.com. They can reach me on Facebook @ Jo Lena Johnson, The AG Resilience Coach.


And I’m trying to get better about using Twitter and Instagram @Jo Lena Johnson.


I’m hoping they will want to be part of The Clean Colored Girl Association! We have formed a group on Facebook and are forming chapters around the country. It’s time for women to connect through life and struggles, coming out better, on the other side.

The Clean Colored Girl Chronicles