Hi. I’m Janelle.
I work with the people that are interested in asking the big questions.
How do we do it? How do we all survive this gorgeous, luscious, crushing experience of being alive? How do we feel so much and witness so much and keep ourselves intact, fierce and loving?
I don’t have the answers. Not exactly. But here I am. And I do know I’m on this earth for a few reasons, and most of them have to do with reclaiming myself, my experiences in my body, with pleasure, with sensation, with embodiment, with creativity.
This reclamation process has revealed a desire to be of service.
I work with the people that are hungry to feel alive.
Longing for vibrancy. Sublimely restless in the way that only the divinely dissatisfied are.
I work with people that are bridging the liminal states of transition, stretching over the gap of who they were and reaching towards who they are becoming.
I serve the seekers.
The sensitive souls that quest and long for and can’t stop trying – despite their every effort to settle in – to figure out how to unleash the creative spirit that’s bubbling away inside.
I serve the ones with a creative drive and a restless need for self expression and a longing for love and fierceness and self-acceptance, starting with the beautiful and unutterably sublime physical body.
Becoming whole. Reclaiming ourselves. Memoir writing is our open doorway in. So let’s not waste anymore time.
I am an artist in the ways that I find solace, discovery and truth through writing, dance and painting.
Fiercely raw, open and so sensitive to the world that sometimes walking out my front door into a world filled with people and their feelings and thoughts and experiences cracks me in pieces and all I want to do is stay home and curl up.
Shutting down feels like the only sane response and for a while it’s how I coped. Panting and scared, excited and overwhelmed, relieved and disappointed.
Yet, it’s the rawness, the sensitivity, the feelings of connection, of love, of everything that drives me out my front door anyways.
A severe case of curiosity and wanderlust drives me. My insatiable urge to create motivates me. Raising a child on my own grounds me.
Most of all, seeking answers for the unknown – the mysteries of the unknowable – spur on my explorations. Creative expression, in all it’s forms, keeps me clear, helps me share what I do, and is my driving force.
Bursting my heart everyday, that’s what life does to me.
People astonish me in their beauty, their pain, their resilience. I can’t get over how incredible this world is, and how blessed I am to be in it.
In this world, in my body. The only true home I have in this lifetime.
How blessed I am to have a creative spirit and a sensitivity and a love of people and their ways of moving, of living, of connecting and fucking and fighting and breaking up and hurting and healing and forgiving and striving to carry on.
To be alive!
To let the world scar and crush and beautify every last pore, every last closed-off space in my heart.
To invite life into my body – it feels like the truest tattoo, each experience is the needle tapping down again and over and over again.
For those of you who know someone best by how they speak of what they love:
I cannot speak of myself without speaking of my childhood home. I was blessed to grow up in the feral northwest of Canada on the traditional territory of the Kwanlin Dün and Ta’an Kwäch’än First Nations in Whitehorse, Yukon. It is a land of small trees, rocky mountains and wild beauty and I love it with a heart-wrenching and wildly internal yearning.
In the summers, under the endless midnight sun, I spent my time as naked as possible, playing in the dirt, climbing trees and claycliffs and walking river edges with my similarly barefoot barely-clad siblings.
In the winters we lived our lives in varying states of layers – bundled up for the severe cold and snow, then stripping off near the woodstove, in and out, up and down, encouraged, nourished, and tumbling about with an assortment of pets, cousins, friends and family.
I also love my child. And flowers. The taste of rich blood-red wine evoking dirt and sex and scorching fire all at once. With olives and chocolate. I love it when people curse because they are so fired-up passionate about something. Happy pop music and raunchy hip hop and anything I can dance to. And retreat and quiet time and trees and the blossoming of bruises and scars. I love it all.
For those of you who know someone best by the harrowing and challenges they have faced:
I know the wrenching pain of watching a parent die of cancer. The sharp shock and twisting gape of divorce and heartache. I have lived the searing resentment and anger of raising a baby/child by myself. The agony of friendlessness and the aching pain of being excluded – that singularly cruel vein of emotional schoolyard bullying. I still feel the crushing panic of having had chronic fatigue.
I know the courage it takes to pursue healing and the fear that rises up on that path. I have softened into acceptance of life as a single mother, and revel in the glorious blessing of a deep connection with my now teenage child. I live in the way that sensitive empathetic people do – raw and thin-skinned, often overwhelmed, but joyfully alive in the ways that learning to set limits, know my boundaries, and engage in excellent self-care provide for me.
My formal and informal life experiences and education have shaped me a great deal.
Formally, I have three degrees – in Dance, Anthropology and Hellerwork Structural Integration, and I’ve also been working towards my RedSeal in Carpentry.
I’ve studied touch with Dr. Betty Martin, psychology and the chakras with Dr. Anodea Judith, energy awareness with Dr. Glenn Hartelius and Jungian theory with Marlene Schiwy. I’ve worked as an artist, dancer, choreographer, writer and painter, as well as in arts administration.
This combination makes so much sense to me. My degrees combine people watching, culture and structure as expressed through the body. Carpentry and artmaking combine my creative drive with a respect for process and balance. It’s all interlooped. Healing. Home. Making meaning. Shelter. The body. As the only true home we ever have.
Informally, deep wells of grief and loss have schooled me well. Life has delivered many lessons and humbled me in the best ways possible.
I have resisted the lessons and humbling, struggled and fought against them before yielding. It’s in this way that I understand getting stuck in resistance, I so truly do.
All of this I offer up in service.
Work with me one-on-one to write your memoirs. Sign up for Personal Mythmaking School, a 3 month course in which you write the first draft of your memoir whilst exploring weekly themes in an online community learning environment, or dive into my ecourse intensives with Honouring Your Anger (anytime), Honouring Your Grief, Growing Your Own Spine and more. Get more esoteric and experience deep witnessing and intuitive guidance in the form of a Devotional Painting and, for women, you can also jump into a free 5-day prose ecourse to rewrite yourself into a fully realized woman.
I've written for/been featured in a number of Yukon, BC, Canadian and international publications.
I’ve been interviewed on these podcasts:
Pssst! Hungry for a little more? Some trivia.
- I have an MA in Dance. When I dance, I feel free and wild and truly at home in my body, heart and spirit. I feel out-of-my-mind in the best way possible. In fact, I’ve written and researched about dance, and danced, choreographed and presented my dances locally and nationally in Canada.
- I earned a BA in Anthropology. Culture, culture and more culture – I’m a total nerd about people watching, I find it endlessly fascinating.
- My writing and photography credentials include some excellent Canadian magazines.
- I have a Diploma in Hellerwork Structural Integration. Which means I’ve spent over 8 years helping people correct their posture and release restrictions through a combination of deep-tissue massage, movement lessons and soulful people watching. Getting people unstuck is definitely a theme for me.
- I earned a Certificate in Women Exploring Trades and Technology to satisfy my desire to try out different hands-on skills. As a child I wanted to be many things. One of those was a carpenter (I really loved the welding too, but not mechanics).
- Teaching adults is something I love. I’ve worked as a writing tutor and taught at Yukon College, as well all sorts of arts workshops and a York University course called Arts and Ideas.
- My visual arts have been exhibited in all sorts of venues, most recently in a solo show at the Yukon Arts Centre Public Art Gallery. A few people said it made them cry. But the children laughed.
- I’ve lived in 3 different countries, with 5 different families (not including my own family!).