Hi! My name is Elena Harder, and I'm the founder of Evolving Humanity by Design.
I'm a huge maverick, I don't follow rules that don't make sense, and it is impossible to put me in a box. I believe in magic and the conspiring beautiful force that is the Universe behind my every action. I am SUPER lucky to still be alive, and I know I'm here for a powerful reason.
If you're here, you're probably like me: You've got big ideas, an even bigger heart, and a mission to do good in the world. That's fantastic! .... and it can also be one hell of a challenging journey along the way.. Let me tell you, I've seen my fair share of struggle!
The good news is that there is support for you. Since this is the About page, I'm going to tell you my story, of how I figured out my true path, how I got here, and WHY I do what I do.
I love to help people stand up, and stand out, to find the courage to REALLY be themselves, and let their bizarre, funky, alternative thinking lead the way.
Since 2010, I've been helping the leaders of the evolution; coaches, speakers, authors, personal development and spiritual awakening teachers, to show up PROUD, CONFIDENT and GORGEOUS in their marketing.
Watching someone own and claim their story, how they got to be where they are, the trials and tribulations that they chose here to come, and lead the collective transformation of this pattern. It gives me full body goosebumps on the outside AND the inside. Phew. Some might say it's JoyGasmic. (But that's getting ahead of myself)
In order to really understand how the fusion of Web Design, Personal Development, and JoyGasm Magic came about, you really need to hear the whole story. So that's what we've got below. It still gives me the heebie jeebies to be this transparent, but it's part of walking my path, so I trust that you will either enjoy it, LOVE it, or be freaked out and leave (your choice, and I love you for all of them)
When you follow your hearts calling,
you don't always know what you're doing,
or what you're getting yourself into.
Many, many people in the marketing world have success stories where they started their 100K coaching business after leaving their 300k/year sales position at a high end retail something something. They want to impress you with numbers and ease and $ turned in a short period of time. That's not this story. This story starts from a place of passion, and a place of wanting to make an impact.
So It All Started.... with me, 8 months pregnant, looking at my MESSED UP life, and saying. Something needs to change, and it has to change before this baby shows up.
There I was 8 months pregnant, living month to month in a house I couldn't afford, paying for the deadbeat baby daddy's drinking. My savings had run out a few months ago, I had $3000 on my credit card, and I was praying that tax money would come in time to cover the "everything else that needs to be paid". I'd never held a job for more than 6 months because after that they got boring as hell, and everything I had done was retail, working minimum wage, I had never made more than $13/hour doing anything. Summer painting houses, Tim Hortons, 3 months at a Sign Printing company, photo shop, websites for fun as a teen, cook, and cutting grass at a golf course.
"I need to find a way to make money" I said to the baby in my belly.
I knew I wanted to help people be more joyful. I got inspired, created myself a business card and started going to networking events.
I went to my first networking meeting, blabbed for 15 minutes to each person I met about the importance of Joy, and then at the end said "and I do web design". I'd hand them my card for "Happiness Bootcamp" as it was called then, and they would ask me about web design work. So without branding, business cards or anything, following my passion, and sharing the joy, I met people who needed websites.
The first site I built Alex was 2 months old. I got paid $250, and I was ecstatic. It took me 10 hours, I made $25/hour, and I never looked back.
From there, I learned and grew, and learned and grew. I was astonished at the changes in the technology of websites. People wanted graphics, and sites, so I made some graphics and sites. I learned a ton, and created 10 sites with an infant son in my arms.
I was sleep deprived, desperate for cash, and although I was experiencing some success, I often didn't make enough to do ANYTHING FUN. Or have spare time, or anything of the sort.
We all hit that point. That point where either we break, or we change something forever in our life permanently.
The incredible journey of learning to forgive myself for the "stupid mistake" of my unplanned son is it's own story, and for years I lived in the energy of resentment, desperation and exhaustion, alternating with incredible joy, enthusiasm, and hope. Life was VERY cyclical, and my mood depending completely on whether things were going well with Alex's dad, or not, and if Alex had slept enough for me to keep up with my manic "trying to make it all work" work schedule. PHHHEEEWWW..
The winter was approaching and I knew something needed to change. I hate wearing jackets. So I created a plan to escape the winter. Thinking I could work remotely, that the sun and the beach would keep me saner, and Alex entertained, and thank GOD I wouldn't have to put up with winter. I put the trip on my credit card, and figured I would work it all out. It might have worked out, but it turns out I decided the best thing would be to invited Baby Daddy back into my life, and crashed out. We scraped through the winter, broke up again, and I came back to Canada and moved back in with my parents.
After 3 years of cycling in and out of abuse on February 1st 2013, I said goodbye for good to romance with Baby Daddy. Forever. Whew. That was just the beginning of the journey. Because, by this point, not only did I have a dysfunctional relationship with him, I had managed to create a downward spiral of fear and worry and hatred and anger and rage that was free spinning, self generating, and VERY embedded into my psyche. There was damage in there to my self esteem that it's taken years to recover from.
At that point in my life, I hit rock bottom. I THOUGHT I had done this a couple of times already, but I was wrong. This time around I maxed out my credit cards and line of credit paying that month's rent, closed the doors of my house, shut out all my friends, stopped email contact with the few clients I had remaining (without saying anything to them.. bad bad business move, but I really didn't care). Smoked WAY WAY WAY too much pot in an effort to numb out the pain I was feeling, and tried not to be a terrible mom to my son (then just over three). I was paralyzed with fear, sorrow, and the victim mentality of an abused woman. It was the most difficult time of my life, I considered suicide, but couldn't stand the idea of what would happen to my son if I disappeared one day in a foreign country. I considered homicide and realized I could never live with myself. I considered a double dose, and realized I'd have to find my way through it.
I experienced the deepest depression
All while living "the dream life" in a paradise.
I had been working to launch my side project JoyGasm over the years, and seen that I got stuck just like I had seen other conscious entrepreneurs do while pursuing THEIR destinies.
- I built the funnel before selling it.
- I recorded hundreds videos without a call to action.
- I got deeply caught in self sabotage, personal stories and old patterns.
- I avoided saying what I really wanted to say, for fear of being judged.
- I spent hours and hours pouring over different variations of my site, thousands of memes,
- Spent hours messaging people (conversationally) over and over on Facebook,
I was literally inside of the equation, being both client and designer. Then one day things turned. I started doing the deep feeling work of the JoyGasm process, instead of just bitching about how frustrated I was.
It was then that it really landed that equally important as good design, was the inner work. The work of loving ourselves enough to let the business succeed. The work of allowing "victim single mom" fall away, and letting "powerhouse business mom" come into play. It was a kind of death, and a kind of rebirth, and exactly what I needed to move into the next level of success.
So I took the many tools I had learned from my favourite personal development clients over the years, the inner work I'd be doing on myself, and I began to offer it to my clients.
Inquiry and story work, energy clearing and creating a highest future vision. The art of being magnetic and attractive to potential clients was something that I had always been a natural at, and began to teach it to each of my clients, so they could engage the magic to take their businesses to the next level.
The results of doing this work transformed my life. I found the courage to say yes to my dreams, and show up in my business the way I'd always wanted to .
I was able to finally live out my dreams...
Adventuring in Thailand, Mom'ing, working on the JoyGasm Book on a Co-Working Boat
Live and Adventure in Bali for 6 months with Goddess Sisters
Live in Rural France, bike to the seaside a few times a week and sword fight with Baguettes
Facilitate Transformational JoyGasm Workshops at Festivals.
Co-work from anywhere, with other amazing digital nomad friends and moms.
Get invited back to do another year of festivals, because it was so good the first time.
Awesomeness Fest Costa Rica 2015
Invited to be one of the featured speakers for the "Digital Nomads for Good Summit" in Ubud, Bali.
Push personal limitations and old stories about asthma by joining an Ultimate Frisbee Team.
At the end of the day, I realized that fullfilling my dharma, giving my gift... it's not about the prestige, the Facebook likes, or the perfect marketing funnel.
This is about having the COURAGE
to live at the edge of your own personal evolution.
To stand in profound witness of your own darkness,
and to live fully embodied in your own light.
To say yes to your soul calling,
and let it fuel your life.
This is about sharing our collective TRUTH,
so you can know what is possible,
and make a new decision for your life.
You're in the right place
if you're ready for deep CHANGE!
It's about showing you that I know what it's like, to be where you are, and that there is something better on the other side. It's about sharing my story, so that you begin to beleive that by sharing your story you can help others, and you can also change your life from STRESS of being stuck in business that is draining your soul, or a dead end job to the EPIC FUN living the life and lifestyle and business you've always dreamed of.
If you want ease and grace and princess show, to This is NOT that story. This is a community of HARD KNOCKS, of single mom-preneurs, and of people who have the guts and the glory to take a stand for their dreams, and make them a reality. This is for people who have been knocked down by life, who have been abused, and mistreated by the situations and people in their lives, and who maybe rolled around in the shit for so long they learned to like the taste of it. Because I've been there. (and unless you've been there, you'll never understand)
Favorite Moments in My Work
- Holding a Book I designed the cover of and helped launch.
- The moment when my client cries when they see the design we co-created.
- Taking 20+ hours of monotonous work off of someones plate, and giving it to someone who LOVES doing that stuff.
- Automation.. Happy Dance!
- That moment, where i see a client stuck in a story, I share that with them, and then we un-stuck them. 🙂 Into bigger possibilities.
- The little inside jokes that happen between all those emails with clients. 🙂
- I love seeing the light in peoples eyes (and the feeling in my body!) when they are pursuing their passion, and their Destiny.
Things you didn't know...
- Committed Digital Nomad with 4 out of the last 6 winters spent in tropical paradise!
- Now Happy Mom to 4 year old (bilingual) Alex 🙂
- I love Heinlein (Stranger and Time Enough For Love), Abraham Hicks, and Anne McCaffrey as all time favorite authors, I could read over and over and over again.
- Sandcastles make me incredibly happy.
- I believe that “training” is something you need if you don’t already have the raw talent to outshine the rest (which you do).
- FightClub, still one of the most influential movies of all time in my life. That and Princess Bride, and Never Ending Story and The Dark Crystal.. (oh yes being a kid in the 90's had it's perks!)
- I'm planning on living to be at least 300 years old. Healthy, Happy and Hot the whole time. 🙂 hehe
- Bali, Morocco and Spain/Europe are my next big trips. 🙂
- I dropped out of Art College after year 1 to "go make my way as an artist" so I went to Australia. 🙂 and fell in love with the idea of never seeing snow again.
- I love altars, they make me incredibly ridiculously happy.
- I used to say I loved everyone, except for intolerant people. After YEARS of work on it, I have found compassion and understanding for intolerant people. Most days.
- The longest continuous laugh I've ever sustained was 14 minutes. It was epic.
Among my friends, I was always the one
with the crazy outlandish idea.
The one who wanted to push the edges of what we were doing,
and then push them some more.
Questions that People Ask ME Often
1. What is your intention behind the work that you do?
My intention is for people to feel proud and confident to share their message in the world. It is to provide guidance and LOVE to people who are doing great work in the world. And to help facilitate the flow of work, to have the tasks that are holding back progress taken care of, now.
My intention is to catalyze each client from one world/timeline/reality to another where they are more prosperous, relaxed and supported. My intention is to create a feeling of excitement in the vision, and relaxation in the "hows" and "gotta do's"
My intention is to help people define, and then follow their destinies to create a quantum effect of speed and ease in the awakening of the human species. It is to be in the never ending and ever more glorious mission of Evolving Humanity.
Thank you for asking. I've never said it so well.
2. What is it like to carry a last name: "Harder"
It's been an interesting journey.
1. The obvious "do me harder" joke. I hated it. Jr High was hard. 🙂 I resented my last name for years. Recently I came into my true family, and found community with the Tantra world, now it's finally a joke that I can laugh at too. Now I love it. I think it fits beautifully in my journey with sharing the Tantic Life that is The JoyGasmic Path. I can see the perfection of it.
2. Another meaning. "Harder = more hard" It's perfect. I push harder, I ask for more, I push myself harder in everything that I do. Excelling? Excell more! Love, Love more. harder.. This edge pushing out of the box thinking has always been a part of me. Comes with the indigo nature.
3. Historically. Harder is a German last name, that comes from Hearder Herder. My ancestors way back herded sheep and earned this name. Even more appropriately, I have Mennonite pastors on several of my ancestor lines, and a strong line of shamans from my fathers mother's side, so my family is literally one of those leading the way, herding the people, in the way of love of Jesus. (ask me about Jesus later when you have some time)