JoJo Dries is an author and speaker. Her book, The Lotus: How I Beat the Patriarchy can be found on Amazon, and was released in June, 2018. It is not only a motivational book, but a gripping, detailed account of what it was like living in a home with a culture of abuse, and how JoJo removed herself from those circumstances. JoJo’s book gives readers the tools and a plan to remove themselves from the toxic situations they may be in. The book is raw, relatable and true. The principles JoJo identifies will work for anyone in any toxic situation, whether it is personal or professional. JoJo has owned and run several companies. She is a veteran, nationally sought-after speaker, having presented before thousands at a time. Her presentations, which she gives across the country, appeal to a wide variety of audiences from every walk of life. Her topics include, “How to Escape a Toxic Environment at Work or Home”, “How to Re-Discover and Pursue Your Dreams” and “The Top 7 Steps to Moving Forward From Life’s Worst Situations”. Her boldness in telling a story we are now seeing repeatedly – abuse of power, sexuality, religion and truth — endears her to the audience in its authenticity. JoJo is based out of Rochester, MI, where she lives with the love of her life, their two sons and puppy. Personal Bio: Valentine’s Day, 2012, we eloped. I’d loved Paul Dries since I was 9 and he was 13. Current times remind me how badly I fought the patriarchy even as a child. Growing up in a male-centric home, where females didn’t have a voice, I recognized a real man when I met one. I knew what I wanted-the opposite of what I saw in my own home. Through the years, Paul was my best friend, and we hung out as often as we could. In our 20s, we dated off and on, but my dad always said it would never happen. In my mid 20s, he made me choose between Paul and my family. Said they’d disown me if I chose Paul. At the time, I chose my family, and Paul and my hearts were broken. We thought we would never see each other again. But, that was my catalyst to carving out the independent life of freedom I’d always known I was meant to live. 3 1/2 years later, I had moved out (finally) from the patriarchy, been basically disowned, and was living with friends before I moved into my own apartment. Had my own job, accounts, car, etc. I signed up on Match.com to find a match to take as a wedding date to a wedding I was invited to. In less than a month, Match.com matched Paul with me as my match of the day. He emailed me the next day and we began our romance all over again, this time as infinitely more mature and free individuals. Paul began to help me make peace with my family and things began to go well. My dad gave his blessing for us to marry. Paul shared with my whole family that he was going to propose to me on Christmas Eve. The day before Christmas Eve, my dad called him saying he was rescinding his blessing and he was going out of town until after the new year at which point he would speak with him again. Not willing to go back to a controlling, patriarchal environment or situation again, Paul and I agreed to move forward with the proposal (he shared all this with me yet still managed to surprise me in the way he proposed). We tried to still make peace with my family; it didn’t work, so we decided to elope. I called one of the most female empowered soul sisters I knew, Suehaila, who worked for a Federal Judge. Her and her mom were our witnesses. The rest is history. We had our first baby boy, Paul Michael Dries in 2013 and our second baby boy, Lucas Alexander Dries in 2015. I love the Lord Jesus Christ with all my heart, soul, mind and strength; through every one of my life’s experiences, He has always been faithful to me. It is only when I am completely leaning on Him that I have a peace about my life that passes all understanding. I grew up with a love for my Lebanese heritage – the food, language, culture, music, etc. I’ve been blessed to grow up learning how to take the best of my “worlds” – American, Lebanese, Christian – to be who I am today.