CELEBRATING 25 DREAM CIRCLES: A REFLECTION
Last night, I hosted the 25th ever Dream Circle.
Yesterday, I woke up feeling so proud and fulfilled. I remember having the idea in Vancouver after I graduated law school and looking back on the past year and a half of hosting these community-building gatherings, it has been quite a ride. I also realized how many challenges, ups and downs, and hesitations with taking action come with working on a project like this or any goal for that matter. I want to share a little bit about the journey and the 25th anniversary celebration with the hope that it inspires you to keep moving towards your goals and dreams.
Essentially, the Dream Circle originated because I had one burning question: What If We Really Connected?
What if unlike networking events and conferences there was a way for us to know everyone else’s goals in a room, and a process to bring out our ideas and resources to support one another to achieve them? What if there was a space for us to be real with each other, reveal where we’re stuck and what we’re going through, and feel empowered to keep going?
The People Who Came
After the first Dream Circle in my living room in Vancouver with a few friends, I then hosted two pilots in Toronto in September of 2012. Over the course of the past year and a half, and 24 Dream Circles later, I have hosted 12 events in the community, and 12 at professional conferences and universities.
So many people have experienced a Dream Circle, and I often wonder how they hear about the event and self-select to attend. In fact, I pinch myself thinking about just how many people I have met this past year and a half. With an average of about 25 to 30 people at each Dream Circle, which means over 700 people have experienced one across Canada, I have heard their goals, and supported them with ideas, resources and connections.
The Places I Have Been
Some of the places I have presented a Dream Circle are Uniiverse, a collaborative space in Toronto that helped me get off the ground in the beginning by giving me free space; and many conferences that trusted this idea even before they experienced it, including the ULEAD conference at the University of Toronto, The University of Waterloo, University of Trent Residence Life, University of Guelph, the University of Manitoba, and of course, my alma mater, the University of British Columbia that hosts an amazing Student Leadership Conference.
The Ones Who Believe In You
Beyond the opportunities, and the people who have come through the program, there are a handful of individuals who have been pivotal in shaping the growth of the Dream Circles. Without trying to name everyone and starting to sound like an Oscar speech, I am so grateful for all of you who were the early adopters and came to the Pilot events, those who gave feedback and input to improve the curriculum, the passionate volunteers who have helped me set up the venue and food before and after each Dream Circle, the people who have helped with graphics and web design, the people who have endorsed me on LinkedIn or sent me testimonials for my website, and finally the dreamers who have supported my dream of creating a collaborative personal development community and helped build it with me.
I was so proud to host the 25th Dream Circle, and left the experience with a full heart, a warm body from all the hugs and high-fives, and energized to keep dreaming and working towards those dreams.
Some exciting next ideas include hosting a Dream Circle in 30 places on the same day (I call it Dream Spark), as a global day for sparking goals into action by supporting each other; a two day personal development retreat in Toronto; and designing a curriculum so that I can give away the Dream Circle program and people can host them wherever they like around the world.
If you’re interested in any of these or have other ways for me to continue to host Dream Circles in the community or at conferences, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. More about my community-building initiatives and speaking can be found at www.thepotentialists.ca.
To close, here are a few photos from the 25th Anniversary Dream Circle: https://plus.google.com/photos/111533890959589074627/albums/5984749408596057633?authkey=CPTgvr6ItdyDYQ