The Art of Personal Mythmakingwrite your memoirs, reclaim yourself
Because you get to choose the stories that define you.
What: A five month course in which you rewrite your personal lifestories by reclaiming your sense of vitality, joy and beauty in life. This is creative, embodied, transformative work.
As you work towards writing the first draft of your memoir (with ease!) you’ll engage with thought-provoking thoughtfully curated weekly themes and body-based visualizations to explore, delight, heal and reconnect with your body, your creativity and your soul. You’ll also tap into the power of fairytales as you’re guided through live weekly discussions and writing labs with your instructor, Janelle,
How: In small and connected groups, we’ll meet for weekly themed discussions and live writing videocalls using our weekly lessons as our guide. These lessons are filled with stories and writing, creativity and embodiment prompts to generate the rough draft of your memoir. We also have a private facebook group, lovingly facilitated for community connection.
Click here to read glowing testimonials.
You get lifetime access to this course and will have the opportunity to participate in the live weekly calls twice. Please see the FAQ to learn more.
Cost: $1,950 CAD (approx. $1,500 USD)
You can scroll to the very bottom of this page for payment and enrolment details.
Payment plans are available.
If you’d like to experience this work before committing, try my Outline Your Memoir workshop. It’s a FREE 2 hour workshop designed to get you started with your personal mythmaking.
Imagine having the space and guidance to explore your questions about your life path.
Questions like: Who am I? Where and what do I come from? What has shaped me? Are the stories I tell myself actually true? How can I reclaim myself and own my stories?
What would happen? What would change?
Rewriting & retelling your stories.
This is about seeing yourself as the catalyst of transformation. About celebrating your dark night of the soul. About rewriting any harmful stories you tell about yourself so your clear and courageous story can shine through.
This is about reclaiming your stories, reclaiming your truth, reclaiming your voice. It’s also about reclaiming your creative power. Your connection to your body. Your truth, your inner life, your joy and your purpose.
Imagine doing transformational work that is deep as well as playful.
It’s possible to have depth in your healing creative processes while also being playful, lighthearted and embracing your body and yourself as-is. In fact, it’s important to bring playfulness into the depths of our healing.
Personal Mythmaking was the closest thing that I had to a vacation in close to a decade. It’s such a luxurious and nourishing blend of creativity, self-care and healing.
Before taking this class, I had some major chips on my shoulder and I felt resigned to lug these things around with me for the rest of my life. Janelle’s class offered a fun, safe and creative way to reframe my troubling stories.
Taking this class was the nicest gift that I ever gave myself.
I enjoyed the experiential nature of the course, how much body was included, the depth of scholarship behind the prompts, how we could weave our story into a memoir and the amazing, professional, insightful, compassionate holding by Janelle through the process.
Imagine getting the first draft of your memoir written with ease and support.
Throughout this course we build up your own forcefield of radical acceptance in a healing process designed so that you craft the first draft of your memoir as you work through the stories you’ve held inside, sometimes for years.
Give yourself the gift of freedom.
To be held and witnessed within a circle of people who are willing to ask these questions of themselves, and of you, is a sacred and uncommon experience.
Come learn and explore in a playful non-judgmental space.
Personal Mythmaking makes room for the silly, the outrageous and the joyful, as well as giving plenty of space to fully express your anger, grief and shame, to explore and discuss deep cultural lineages and to transform your own narratives.
Beginning February of 2019: 15 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.
If you’d like to swiftly access details on scheduling, $$ and payment details, just scroll to the bottom of this page.
During our Personal Mythmaking journey 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 four 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, I had chronic fatigue and I kept trying to out-think creative block, exhaustion and perfectionistic goals while enduring a sharply cruel self-talk process that left me feeling shredded and hateful towards myself.
Crisis piled on top of 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.
I don’t live in ‘once upon a time’ anymore. I don’t think I have it all figured out (that’s a lifelong journey) but I do have some excellent tools for feeling more at ease, joyful and wholehearted about life, and I love sharing these tools.
Janelle is absolutely amazing, the real deal and a woman of integrity.
This is what I know.
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, rigid ancestral and familial stories.
When I finally started questioning these deeply seated beliefs about who I was, who my family was, what I had soaked up from my culture and most importantly of all, whether I believed in it anymore is when I finally started healing my spirit, my body, and my 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 come from exploring stories and fables by deepening into my body and light-heartedly opening to the everyday beauty all around me.
Learning and healing through creative play; writing, painting, daydreaming. Through movement.
Dancing, running, walking, tumbling (with my daughter when she was young).
Through connecting, with the weird, the wonderfully deep, the exquisitely eccentric, the enfoldingly maternal, with all the people 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.
This 4-month journey is for people who are hungry for depth, growth, inquiry and supported healing in their lives.
If I were recommending Personal Mythmaking to my best friend this is what I’d say:
This is for people who are seeking more joy, groundedness and wholeness as well as a deeper connection to their bodies and their creativity.
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 your memoir
Creative, playful and thoughtful, these writing prompts deepen you into greater understanding (and are designed to support writing your memoir/life story)
Regular, focused, devoted to you (in the secret facebook group)
Resources list & videocall
Extra resources for learning and deepening (print) + weekly group videocalls
How do we rewrite our personal mythologies?
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 in new and different ways.
Mostly, we do this through 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 touch, sight, taste, smell and sound. Movement too. 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.
Personal Mythmaking is about healing, transformation and discovery.
About feeling like you’re enough.
About tapping into your deep inner knowing, stepping into a loving and kind relationship with your amazing body and cracking open your creative flow.
About rewriting yourself and your life into beauty, wholeness and joy.
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!
Week 1 - mapping your lifestory
We’ll start by building a timeline of your life, examining themes, rites of passage and pivotal moments.
This provides a framework for your memoirs and transformative work.
Week 2 - 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 3 - ancestors, lineage and family mythology
Who do you come from? And who did they come from? What stories were passed down and which were covered up? What is truth, what is untruth, and what is simply an unneeded burden?
Week 4 - rest and integration
A week to catch up on previous lessons and integrate your creative work + one fairytale to feed your soul.
Week 5 - 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 6 - place and space
Mountains. Water. Sky. Seasons. Our physical environment shapes us, as does the physical environment of where our ancestors come from.
Week 7 - 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 8 - rest and integration
A week to catch up on previous lessons and integrate your creative work.
Week 9 - 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 10 - 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 11 - 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 12 - rest and integration
A week to catch up on previous lessons and integrate your creative work.
Week 13 - villains
Who is your nemesis? What villains do you despise? What character traits in yourself do you hate?
This week we use your top 3 myths/fairytales/pop culture icons/real-life nemesis. Not to villainize so much as to humanize. This is integrative shadow-work.
We also work with the legend of Medusa.
Week 14 - 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 15 - 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 memoir-building bonus?
After week 15 we have some optional extra time to put all of your creative writing prompts together to build your memoir:
During this time we celebrate the storyteller/writer within you.
The story rewritten – what will you share? How will you celebrate? What has been unearthed?
It’ll be a beauty-full party!
My favourite part of Personal Mythmaking was the variety of information and inspiration that Janelle shared: writing prompts, recordings of stories and guided meditations, videos, guest interviews, pinterest boards, book and resource recommendations, video calls.
There’s always more to explore, but if life gets busy it’s also easy to stay caught up with the group by doing the writing only. This class is fun and valuable in so many ways.
I credit Janelle with introducing me to the concept of embodiment, which has been an absolute game changer for me.
Duration: 4 months
+ lifetime access to this course *please see FAQs for lifetime access details*
When: starting February, 2019
End result: – transformation, healing and 12,000+ words towards the first draft of your personal memoir and/or documentation of this healing journey
Cost: $1,950 CAD (approx. $1,500 USD)
Payment options at the bottom of this page.
- 12 themed lessons containing the week’s learnings, delivered every Monday morning
- 4 integration weeks to catch up on memoir-writing prompts and rest
- 17 weekly group videocalls (click here for the weekly call schedule)
- 15 weekly live writing labs (via videocalls) click here for the weekly call schedule
- 3 office hours/makeup videocalls
- 11 audio stories
- 100+ creative writing prompts
- 8+ guided body explorations (audio)
- 7+ visual inspiration boards
- connection in a secret facebook group
- weekly individual witnessing from Janelle
plus, 3+ surprise expert guest interviews, tailored towards each group’s needs
Telling your story and transforming it means knowing yourself and your lineage deeply.
It’s in-the-body and it’s imaginative because healing and transformation are more than just intellectual, rational, talk processes.
This embodied Personal Mythmaking process is all about:
- writing the first draft of your memoir with ease.
- using creative writing prompts to open up the imagination and open up possibilities.
- using body-based prompts to reconnect you to your body, your imagination and your inner wisdom.
- exploring ancient stories and fairytales to reconnect you to a deeper collective and cultural wisdom.
Healing and transformation don’t come solely 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 – because healing and transformation are also 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. This Personal Mythmaking process gives your body, your creativity and your intuition the chance to lead the way.
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.
This is right for you if:
You’re on a path of healing and self-actualization.
- You’ll find Personal Mythmaking to be an exceptional process for accessing you inner knowledge and using it towards transformation and healing.
- You’ll find the support and connection in the videocalls and facebook group to be warm, kind and vibrant.
- You’ll find the mix of curated offerings, creative writing prompts and embodiment lessons open up gentle ways of understanding and healing that were previously closed to you.
You want to write your memoirs in a guided and supportive process.
- You’re a soulful person. You may also be a creative, writer or artist, and you’ve been harbouring a desire to write your life story.
- This is a process that combines accountability in writing your story down (via weekly videocalls and access to Janelle in the facebook group) with support for the learning and healing that comes with writing your life down.
- This is a process that helps you move through perfectionism, creative block and procrastination, gets you writing, and leaves you with plenty of tools for thriving in your creative and healing practices after the course is finished.
Whether you want to write your memoir or not, Personal Mythmaking School is a rich process of healing and transformation. It is a thing of beauty.
Together we’re going on a journey into why your story matters and how reimagining and experiencing your world is transformative and important.
Together we create healing in our own lives and produce the first draft of our life stories.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to be a writer/artist to take this course?
No. This course is not a professional writing course.It’s a process-based course. Meaning – it’s about getting your ideas out of your head and into the world, which everyone – beginners and professional, often need some help with (myself included!)
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 with, seeing and reframing your experiences, then writing them down.
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 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?
Not at all. I have students that do participate in the facebook group, and students that don’t. Both feel well served by this course.
You are most welcome to do this course by e-mail only, as a solitary practice. Or by just participating in the videocalls. 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.
Are we writing autobiographies or memoirs? And what's the difference?
Good question. Typically an autobiography is a linear narration of your life’s events. And a memoir is a section, moment or series of threads from your life that form a theme.
So, we’re not writing an autobiography of our lives. However, we start by outlining our life and our life’s events (which can also be used as the beginnings of your autobiography.)
It is possible to write more than one memoir of your life. And for those different memoirs to read almost as if they belong to different people. How exciting!
What we’re doing in Personal Mythmaking is simply working with the weekly themes and creative writing prompts,with an attitude of curiosity and delight, and a willingness to work with what rises to the surface. It’s an open-ended exploration, which reveals the memoir’s subject matter through a process of accumulation. As you keep writing, the themes show up without much effort. Because they were already there, waiting.
I hope this answers your question. If it doesn’t, of course, you’re welcome to get in touch and discuss via e-mail or an exploratory call.
How much time will it take?
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).
Plan on a couple hours per week minimum to listen to and absorb the material as well as participate in the videocalls.
If you intend to dig into the options for deepening and participate in the facebook group, about 30 minutes a day is reasonable to expect.
If you want to get your memoirs written down in this 4 month timeframe you do need to devote regular writing time to this process – I suggest setting aside 4 hours a week.
And, don’t forget you get lifetime access to this course.
Many students choose to spend the first round absorbing the material, then circling back around a second or third time to do the writing.
What is the weekly videocall schedule?
You can click here to view the weekly videocall schedule.
How does the class work?
You’ll get an email every Monday, which will contain a link to 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.
We will have weekly group videocalls and writing labs as well.
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 testimonials about this course?
Yes, I have plenty of amazing testimonials. You can read them here.
Do you have a payment plan for this course?
Yes. I have a few different payment options available to make this course accessible. Just scroll to the bottom of this page to explore what works best for you and initiate payment.
Do you offer scholarships or sliding scale fees?
Yes, for folks with the desire to participate Personal Mythmaking, but with limited means, I offer a number of sliding scale and partial scholarships.
To see if you qualify, and to apply, click here.
Do you offer refunds?
No. You get lifetime access to this course, and before you sign up you have many opportunities to connect with me in a free and cheaper way to assess whether my approach suits you before you sign up for Personal Mythmaking.
One of the ways you can get a risk-free sense of my teaching style is by signing up for my free 5-day prose ecourse first (for women).
You are also welcome to have a free 20 minute conversation with me, which you can arrange by clicking here.
This course is an opportunity to start creating change in your life. Change is a scary proposition, even when it’s desired, and can be very easy to sabotage. This process is 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).
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.
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).
What does lifetime access mean?
Lifetime access means that once you’ve purchased this course you’re welcome to access the written material and lessons each time it’s offered. participate every time it’s offered.
What’s more exciting and unique is this facet of the lifetime access – and this is what makes Personal Mythmaking exceptional – you’re welcome to circle back into the intimate small group participatory videocalls and online community twice – so you don’t need to feel pressure to get all the connecting and writing done all at once, in one go.
Lifetime access does not mean you get to give access to others in your circle – they will need to enrol and pay if they want to participate.
You're white. I'm not. How do I know I'll feel safe and honoured in your space?
This is one of the most important questions to ask of a teacher and space you’re considering entering.
You’re right. I’m a white woman from Canada.
And, I’m deeply committed to unlearning the milieu of white supremacy and colonialism that I’ve been born into, and relearning healthier ways of being.
I’m also aware that this is a a lifelong and ongoing practice of self-evaluation and reflection. It does not end. So my commitment is to continue to learn and grow and study to ensure that my spaces are inclusive and respectful of the non-white folks that choose to work with me.
To never stop asking the questions of how to do better, and to be open to hearing about when I’ve made mistakes and caused hurt, and then rectify the hurt and mistakes as swiftly as possible.
You have my word on this.
So much online marketing is hyperbole, exaggeration and inflation of skills, abilities and offerings. I fear engaging in something that promises much and delivers little.
I was delighted to find Personal Mythmaking was, if anything, undersold rather than overrated.
I found a course based in scholarship and experience. The work was experiential, embodied and deepening without being overwhelming. And the support is amazing.
(approximately $1,500 USD)
(to find out what the current estimated cost is in your currency, go to www.xe.com/currencyconverter)
IMPORTANT: if your Paypal e-mail is different than the e-mail you want to receive your Personal Mythmaking lessons on, PLEASE make sure you let me know via my Contact form.