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Lessons from the Edge of Life

We're all a little rough around the edges. It's along those edges that the most exciting and accelerated growth occurs. It is also where we either learn to acknowledge and work on changing the parts of ourselves that limit and cause us pain, or sink back into old, outmoded, and ineffective ways of seeing and being in the world. It is our choice.

Stories to Tell

Rough Edges is an eight-week course that combines the power of story with the basics of self-care and self-awareness. Together we will create a safe and supportive space in which to discover and tell the stories of our lives as we know them to be.

Then, through a series of exercises and simple changes to our daily routines we will begin to rethink and rework our stories. The goal is to not only change how we see our stories but rewrite them so that we become the empowered heroines of those stories.


 How It Works
It helps to compare the process to paying a visit to the ophthalmologist for a long overdue eye exam.  Through a series of exercises, questions, writing exercises, and discussions we will take a good hard look at our stories. What roles, patterns, and programs have dominated our narratives? How do we describe ourselves? Where are we uncomfortable with our lives and why? And most important of all, how does changing our focuses and perceptions change how we see the world and our role in it going forward?

What You Get

1. Eight lessons - One per week for eight weeks. Each lesson includes:

a) An explanation of the theme and goals of the week
b) Writing prompts and questions  

c) Exercises designed to make you aware of and make subtle changes to your routines  

d) Topics for discussion in the group

2. Access to the private group where we share and comment on one another's work

3. Two comprehensive critiques of your stories by your instructor
a) Your story as you see it now

b) Your story after you rewrite it in class.

4. A set of tools designed to help you capture and rework your story. These include:

a) A set of "Courge" cards with writing prompts 

b) The "Perfectionist's Workbook" designed to help you look at and ask questions about how you have seen and defined yourself - physically, in terms of family and relationships, and spiritual - in your world.

c) Four guided meditations by your instructor.

5. Consideration for the possible inclusion of your story in the "Rough Edges" anthology. This last is still a work in progress and will depend on how many authors are interested. The submission process will be explained at the end of the course.

Looking for 10 Exceptional Women

Rough Edges is taught 4 times a year and is only open to 10 women at a time. Here are the details:

Cost: $2,000
Start Date: To be determined. We are thinking mid-August.
Platform: Teachable and Facebook groups


If you are interested and think the course could be a good fit for you, please send an email to with the following information:


1. Name

2. What appeals to you about the course?
3. What do you see as the major "rough edges" in your life?

4. Is there anything about your current situation that makes this course seem like a good fit for you?

5. What would be an ideal start date for you? 

6. Anything else to add?


Jena will get back to you within a week with information about how to enroll, pay, and download the files you'll need for the course.


Why do we describe ourselves with labels? I am a doctor, a teacher, a lawyer, a social worker, a beggar, a thief. In reality, we are much much more than any label can convey, and what we "do" only scratches the surface of who we are. That's why I love this quote from Oriah Mountain Dreamer. She says,

“It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.” - Oriah Mountain Dreamer

My heart's longing has always been to create. When I was a child, I drew, wrote and illustrated books, created plays, and danced stories about our family pets. Everywhere I looked I saw stories, and that passion for understanding life through the narratives unfolding around me has never subsided.


Stories were what prompted me to start creating and teaching writing classes in 2000. They were also what led me write and illustrate five children's books, and ultimately to create Rough Edges. I wanted to find a way to help women reclaim and rework the stories of their lives - to understand that each and every one of us has the ability and right to change our narratives to reflect our truest selves.

Craftintg stories - whether it be with words, song, dance, sculpture, or even sign language - is never easy. But if you can learn how to listen to the most authentic parts of yourself, it will be the most rewarding work you'll ever do. I promise.






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