Personal Mythmakingrewriting your life: a course in beauty, wholeness and joy
This 3-month journey is for women who are seeking more groundedness, joy and connection with their bodies, as well as a sense of creative permission and a full-hearted sense of wholeness.
Telling your story and transforming it means knowing yourself and your lineage deeply. It’s bodily and it’s imaginative because healing and transformation are not intellectual rational talk processes.
This embodied Personal Mythmaking process is all about:
- creative writing prompts to open up the imagination and open up possibilities.
- bodily prompts to reconnect you to your body, your imagination and your inner wisdom.
- ancient stories and fairytales to reconnect you to a deeper collective and cultural wisdom.
- the first draft of your memoir.
Two groups of people tend to participate.
The first group is people who are on a path of healing and self-actualization do Personal Mythmaking as a way of accessing their inner knowledge for transformation and healing.
And the second group is creatives, writers, artists and people who have been harbouring a desire to write their life story. To come up with the first draft of their memoir.
But even for people who don’t want to write their own memoir, this process of Personal Mythmaking is a process of healing and transformation.
Janelle is a guardian of your sacred truth, and will create a safe space to play, know, understand, and emote. She will bring out your inner guide and create new pathways for success, love, and abundance.
She is a delight to work with, sharing deep, provocative writing and embodiment exercises peppered with giggles and heart-catching anecdotes. She will transform your life.Dr. Tonia Winchester
Healing and transformation don’t come from traditional talk therapy and out-thinking our problems. If they did we’d already, as a culture, have solved all our problems.
And here’s why – it’s because healing and transformation are actually body-based imaginative processes.
We’re on a journey that begins with deep self and inner knowledge and you can’t think your way into it. Your body, your creativity and your intuition have to lead the way. This is a venue for that.
During our journey together we’ll create an unwaveringly solid and powerful foundation of self-knowledge.
We’ll nurture an awestruck, fluid and loving connection to your body.
And we’ll open a wellspring of creativity so meltingly passionate that by the end of the three months you’ll feel renewed, powerful and completely and wholly your own.
But first, let me tell you a little story about myself.
Hi. I’m Janelle Hardy. Once upon a time, not so long ago, I thought I had life figured out.
I was driven to earn academic degrees, raise my daughter on my own and pursue artistic and career goals that now exhaust me to even think about. My body was exhausted too, because I had chronic fatigue from trying to out-think all of my challenges, including creative block, exhaustion, overwhelmingly perfectionistic goals as I also endured a constant and sharply cruel self-talk process that left me feeling shredded and hateful towards myself almost all the time.
Personal crisis piled on top of personal crisis until the many lessons life was driving at me finally sank in, and I learned how to question what I thought about myself, I learned how to inhabit, honor and be kind to my physical body, and I learned how to work through creative block and stop expecting perfection when all my creative self wanted to do was play.
I don’t live in ‘once upon a time’ anymore and I don’t think I have it all figured out, but I do have some excellent tools for feeling more joy, ease and wholeness in life, and I love sharing them.
Questioning my own personal mythology has taken me down the most incredible paths.
Ever since I was a child I’ve been enchanted by fairytales, mythology and the natural world. What I didn’t start questioning until later was the usefulness and truth of the stories I’d been learning.
Stories I was taught by my culture. About being a girl and woman. About the ways in which we believe our bodies and selves are somehow less than or shameful.
Stories I was taught in my family, about who I was and my role in the family and what stories were precious and sacred. Stories about what was right and wrong, and most of all, ancestral and familial stories that were not allowed to be questioned.
When I finally started questioning who I was, who my family really was, what I had soaked up from my culture and society, and most importantly of all, whether I believed in it anymore, when I finally started questioning all of these deeply seated beliefs is when I finally started healing my spirit, my body, my emotional heart.
For me, the most effective ways of questioning and transforming have not come from the intellectual processes.
As deeply as I have loved my academic studies in anthropology and dance and bodywork, the best kinds of writing, unraveling and personal exploration came, for me, by weaving the fantastical storytellers and fables with the physical knowing of my body and a light-hearted opening to the everyday beauty we have access to all around us.
Learning and healing through creative play. Writing, painting, daydreaming. Through movement. Dancing, running, walking, tumbling (with my young daughter).
Through connecting, with the weird, the wonderfully deep, the exquisitely eccentric, the enfoldingly maternal, with all the women who are not afraid to be their essential and singular selves.
ps – the woman in that picture – she’s my mother’s mother. Unraveling the mysteries surrounding her, her ancestors, her marriage, her parenting, it’s been one of the great catalysts in my work. We’ll have some fun with your ancestors and family photos in this course too.
Each weekly lesson includes:
A theme & a story
Each weekly theme is supported by a story or myth or fairytale (audio & print)
A unique teaching
To help you understand and deepen into the weekly theme (audio & print)
An anatomical bodylove visualisation
Designed to bring you into relationship with your physical self (audio)
Writing prompts for deepening
Creative, playful and thoughtful (this is how we write your reimagined life story)
Regular, focused, devoted to you (in the secret facebook group)
Resources list & videocall
Extra resources for learning and deepening (print) + a group videocall every other week
How do we learn together?
With stories to deepen into the hungry, the juicy and the soulful.
Because stories are our teachers, and I know you’ve got a few favourites.
Favourite myths, fairytales, folk legends. There are reasons why you love these stories. You’ve also got some stories about yourself, and I bet not all of them are kind or good. But they stick around, tripping you up as you live your life.
With themes to guide our explorations.
Themes that act as memory prompts, as lens, as different facets with which to draw out your stories.
With community to connect with and learn from.
Because you’re hungry to lean in, to explore and to be in the company of like-minded souls. You’ve arrived at the right place.
This is an ecourse that is also a circle. When we gather together, sharing our knowledge, listening and truly hearing others, learning from each other and taking the risk to express our deepest longings, pains and joys, we triumph over fear. Adversity. Isolation.
Perplexed? Unsure? You’ll find Frequently Asked Questions at the very bottom of this page. Or just get in touch with me.
With creative writing and photo prompts to get unblocked creatively and start rewriting your personal mythology.
Because it doesn’t feel good to be in a creative rut, feeling flat and blocked. We’ll spark ideas and inspiration by accessing the creative energy in new and different ways.
Mostly, we do this through play. Creative play, to explore the sore and tender spots, to connect with the beautiful and hopeful spots. Creative play to reconnect with the juicy and joyous so that you become wholehearted and open.
With embodiment prompts to bring you into relationship with your senses and your physical self.
Because you’ve been so hungry to connect with your body in a positive open-hearted way.
Because your body has a lot to teach you, through the felt senses of the body, through touch, sight, taste and smell. Hearing too, and movement. Because tuning into the body helps us tune into our creativity with more ease and inspiration.
This is what personal mythmaking is all about.
So that, by the end of our time together, you’ve got a rewritten story about yourself, a deeper connection with your creative spirit and your physical body, and a renewed sense of inspiration and delight.
What a journey you took us on.
I was so amazed at how beautifully our stories came together, and how healing the process was. I loved the prompts. I loved the accountability, and I loved the embodiment exercises.
And to top it all off I left with an amazing reframe of my life so far on this planet, clarity about why I’m here, and how to use my story to connect to people – specifically my audience. What a gift!Dr. Tonia Winchester
This is about healing, transformation and discovery. About you feeling like you’re enough.
This is about deep inner knowing because you can’t out think or out talk your challenges. About stepping into a loving and kind relationship with your amazing body. About cracking open creative flow.
This is about rewriting yourself and your life into beauty, wholeness and joy.
Week 1 - the stories (lies) we tell ourselves
We explore the power of stories, and how the stories we tell ourselves shape our reality.
We’ll identify our favourite stories (fairytales/myths) and start working with them.
Week 2 - ancestors, roots and family mythology
Who do you come from? And who did they come from? What stories are passed down, are covered up?
What is truth, what is untruth, and what is simply an unneeded burden?
Week 3 - food and culture
We explore the essential basics of nourishing our sense of connection and our physical bodies this week.
How did you share and create food in your family? And in your culture(s)?
Week 4 - place and space
Mountains. Water. Sky. Seasons. Our physical environment shapes us, as does the physical environment of where our ancestors come from.
Week 5 - body stories
Facing body shame, developing body love and radical acceptance.
Engaging your sense of touch in order to more fully inhabit your body. It’s time to make it happen.
Week 6 - fury, envy and judgment
Shadow and light and radical acceptance.
Blessing the good, winking at the bad, we invite it all in and rewrite our personal challenges and assumptions.
Week 7 - heroes and goddesses
The people we admire have a lot to teach us.
This week we work with your heroes by exploring celebrity, archetypes and goddess energy. Juicy, potent and enriching.
Week 8 - ideas of beauty & attractiveness
Cultural ideas about femininity, masculinity and beauty. We get to decide what to believe, and what to discard.
Let’s explore, unpack and reconstruct so that beauty is not the behaviour we’re expected to perform, but the state we want to live in.
Week 8 - villains
Who is your nemesis? What villains do you despise? What character traits in yourself do you hate?
This week we work with your top 3 myths/fairytales/pop culture icons/real-life nemesis. Not to villainize so much as to humanize. This is integrative shadow-work.
Week 10 - language and the senses
What is your mother tongue? How has it shaped you? Language determines the stories we tell, how we think and how we experience the world. As do our senses.
What about music? Touch? Art? Taste? What was fulfilled? What was missing?
Week 11 - longing and expectations - a love letter to self
In which we get real about what we want, what we love, and start telling ourselves a new story, using the writing material we’ve worked with so far.
And did I mention the bonus week?
After week 11 we have this optional extra week: Celebrating the storyteller/writer within you. The story rewritten (on the way to being rewritten) – what will you share?
How will you celebrate? What has been unearthed?
It’ll be a beauty-full party!
Duration: 11 weeks (+ an optional bonus week)
When: August 21st to November 5th
What:11 weekly e-mails, 11 themed lessons, 11 audio stories, 60+ creative writing prompts, 11 guided body explorations (audio), 11 visual inspiration boards, connection in a secret facebook group, weekly individual witnessing and 6 videocalls
End result: – transformation, healing and 12,000+ words towards the first draft of your personal memoir and/or documentation of this healing journey
Cost: $750 USD
Imagine having the space and guidance with which to ask yourself the question “Is this actually true?”
What would happen? What would change?
Give yourself the freedom to learn and explore in a playful non-judgmental space.
To be held and witnessed within a circle of women who are willing to ask these questions of themselves, and of you.
Starting August 21st:
11 weeks of exploring & unearthing
Let’s find new perspectives and shed new light on the ancient stories you tell yourself. We’ll work our way through old stories with creative writing and embodiment prompts to rebuild a personal story that feels right.
Rewriting & retelling
This is about seeing yourself as the heroine of transformation. Let’s redefine the dark night of the soul to slice through the negative stories you tell about yourself so your clear and courageous story can shine through.
Imagine doing transformational work that is deep as well as playful.
It’s possible to be intense in your personal work while also learning to play, be lighthearted, and embrace your body and yourself exactly as they are.
Personal Mythmaking provides space to fully express your anger, grief and shame, explore and discuss deep cultural prejudices and transform your own narratives. At the same time, space is available to give and receive permission to get silly, be outrageous, and build up your own forcefield of radical acceptance.
Frequently Asked Questions
How are you qualified to teach me?
I have a great deal of teaching experience, both one-on-one as a writing tutor and Hellerwork Structural Integration practitioner (movement and body awareness) as well as being a teaching assistant at York University, and teaching literature at Yukon College. I’ve also taught children and adults various workshops on creative and the creative arts.
I have a passion for teaching adults, and have also taught groups and couples workshops on touch, communication and consent. To learn more about my background, just visit my About page.
Do I have to participate in the facebook group?
No. You are most welcome to do this course by e-mail only, and as a solitary practice. Consider though that the beauty of joining in with a community is the shared experience. Often, a great deal of learning happens in the exchange between fellow participants, as well as friendships and a sense of fellowship.
However, please know that facebook sharing is ENTIRELY optional.
Do I have to be a writer/artist to take this course?
No. This course is not a professional writing course. Instead, it uses writing prompts (along with embodiment and photography prompts) to assist you in getting out of your head and into a state of connecting and seeing and reframing your experiences.
But will my writing improve if I take this course?
Yes. All of the prompts are designed to give you practice in bypassing your rational intellectual mind, and accessing your intuitive storytelling creative self more directly. A great side effect if this kind of work (if you do your homework!) is that your creativity will start to flow, as will your creations. This includes your writing.
How does the class work?
You’ll get an email every Monday, which will contain the week’s lesson. This will be followed up in the facebook group with brief posts on Wednesday and Friday – options for deepening into Monday’s weekly e-mail.
Every two weeks there will be a group call as well.
How much time will it take?
Plan on a couple hours per week minimum. However, if you choose to dig into the options for deepening, and participate in the facebook group, about 30 minutes a day is reasonable to expect.
Ultimately, you decide how much time you spend on each exercise (and of course – the more you dig in and commit to the process, the more you’ll get out of it).
What will I get out of this class?
You’ll get a deeper sense of your self, and an ability to revisit and reframe the difficult narratives/stories you’ve been telling about yourself.
You’ll have an excellent set of tools at your disposal for when you get stuck in uncomfortable stories about yourself.
You’ll have a beautiful written story about your own life by the end of the class, and the way it comes out and is framed will surprise you, in the best ways possible.
Do you have a payment plan for this course?
Yes. You can pay in three monthly instalments of $250 USD each, commencing upon your order (see button below). I am also able to offer 6 month and 9 month payment plans – just get in touch and we can set it up.
Do you offer refunds?
No. The only time I offer a refund is if I’ve made a grave error, or there are extenuating circumstances in your life (big ones).
This course is an opportunity to start making change. It’s a scary proposition, even when it’s desired, and can be very easy to sabotage. It’s designed for you to experience growth and it’s also designed to be really enjoyable, and offer opportunities to connect and be witnessed by myself and a circle of like-minded people (in the secret facebook group).
If you’d like to get a sense of my style, please sign up for my free 5-day prose ecourse first.
Please consider deeply that this is a course that’s meant to be participated in. If you’re that kind of person, I’m already excited to be working with you. If you’re not all-in, please, wait to sign up for a time when you are.
I'm not ready to sign up yet. Can you send me updates?
Yes! Absolutely. You can click this link to sign up for updates. I’ll send you updates about Personal Mythmaking whenever I run it again.