Hi. I’m Janelle.
I support people in reclaiming their mythic selves through their bodies, life stories, and creative flow.
I support people who are interested in asking the big questions.
Like, 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 having to do with reclaiming myself fully through integration with my bodypsyche, with embodied sensation, with creative self-expression, with the mythic, with story.
My healing journey is a reflection of a collective wave of longing for wholeness and meaning.
So I work with those that are hungry to feel alive.
Those that are longing for vibrancy. Sublimely restless and divinely dissatisfied.
I work with those that are bridging states of transition, in the liminal stretch, reaching past the gap of who they were and 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 stunning and unutterably sublime physical body.
I believe our bodies, experiences and longings are the doorway into self-reclamation.
So let’s not waste any more time. Let’s step into our life. Lets reclaim ourselves and come alive.
Let’s heal our life stories and tap into an abidingly present state of deep trust, faith and spacious rest.
I’m an artist in the ways that I find solace, discovery and truth through writing, dancing and painting.
Fiercely raw, open and sensitive to the world, walking out my front door into a world filled with people and their feelings, thoughts and experiences used to crack me in pieces. Overwhelmed, all I waned to do was curl up and stay home.
Shutting down used to feel like the only sane response and it’s how I coped, feeling constantly panting and scared, excited and overwhelmed, relieved and disappointed.
Although shut-down was never the solution, the discomfort of it propelled me onto my healing journey. I didn’t want to always feel shy, overwhelmed, timid.
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.
So I let life mark me, and swell my heart, everyday.
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.
So I live in the paradox. A severe case of curiosity and wanderlust drives me. My insatiable urge to create motivates me. Raising a child on my own grounds me.
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 loving 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 closed-off space in my heart.
To invite life into my body – it feels like the truest tattoo, each experience tapping down again and over and over again.
For those who know someone best by how they speak of what they love:
I cannot speak of myself without speaking of my childhood home. I grew up in the wild northwest of Canada on the traditional territory of the Kwanlin Dün and Ta’an Kwäch’än Peoples in Whitehorse, Yukon. It is a land of small trees, rocky mountains and extraordinary 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.
And now, as an adult, I love my child. And flowers. The taste of rich blood-red wine evoking dirt and sex and scorching fire. Olives and dark chocolate. I love it when people curse because they are so fired-up. Happy pop music and raunchy hip hop and Gaelic fiddling music 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 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 know what it is to live with a searing resentment and anger, and of raising a baby/child by myself. I know the agony of friendlessness and the aching pain of being excluded – that singularly cruel vein of emotional schoolyard bullying. I know the crushing panic of having had chronic fatigue.
I know the courage it takes to pursue healing and the joys, fears and astonishment that arises on a healing path.
I still feel the longing to have a great love in my life, even as I’ve settled into the discernment and pleasures of a single life. I have softened into acceptance of life as a solo parent, and revel in the gloriousness of deep connection with my young adult daughter.
I live in the way that highly sensitive empaths 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, apprenticeships and education have shaped me a great deal.
Formally, I have three degrees – in Dance, Anthropology and Hellerwork Structural Integration, and at times I’ve also worked towards my RedSeal in Carpentry.
I’ve studied Somatic Narrative with Kathy Kain, Sensitive Dance with Claude Coldy, consent and 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 and I’m currently working towards my Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner designation. 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.
These things all interloop: healing. Home. Making meaning. Shelter. The body. As the only true home we ever have.
Informally, deep wells of grief, loss and rage 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. And how healing it is to move through distress and overwhelm, traumas, and become, anew.
I currently live in Vancouver, BC, Canada, on the ancestral, occupied and unceded traditional homelands of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) nations.
All of this I offer up in service.
Sign up for The Art of Personal Mythmaking, either as a self-directed process (anytime) or as a transformational 5 month course (starting every February) in which you write the first draft of your memoir whilst growing and healing in an intimate online learning environment.
Download this free PDF with 10 impactful memoir-writing prompts, or, if you want to write but are scared of painful memories overwhelming you, download this prompt with gentle, effective body-based healing techniques.
Take my free Outline Your Memoir workshop.
I’ve written for/been featured in a number of Yukon, BC, Canadian and international publications.
I’ve also been a guest presenter at numerous festivals and conferences.
Expanding on the details…
- 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 11 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, including 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!).