How to Create Sustainable Relationships for Living in a Community

In light of the recent communication breakdown which resulted in Dreamseed losing two valuable potential long-term members, I share this brilliantly spot-on manifesto from NuMundo on creating sustainable community relationships. I believe in every single one of their guidelines and will from now on stand firmly in applying them to all relationships that form here between myself and people who come to participate in this project. Because I give people the benefit of the doubt, I have been naive in assuming that anyone looking for a sustainable community home already gets these principles, and I am discovering that this is not necessarily the case. So I am taking a few steps back and adopting the guidelines as our own here at Dreamseed. If you crave a village or co-housing lifestyle, this is essential reading to prepare you for what will arise as you unfold into community. And if you are interested in participating in the development of our retreat center, these principles will guide all aspects of our work and play together, so please do read them and feel free to comment or send me a message to discuss. Here is the truncated version of the article, with the full article linked below it:

1)  Own your own experience and respect the experience of others.

This vital agreement contains within itself all the other agreements and is inviting everyone in the community to take an empowered view (rather than a victim stance) in life and relationships. Owning our personal experience means we understand that our experience and the experience of others may not be the same. Some simple techniques which support us to interact from this place include:

  • Speak from “I” rather then a general “we”. Speaking in this way allows for a deeper and more authentic space of relating while at the same time not making assumptions or projections about others.
  • No shaming or making others wrong. No one is receptive to being told they are wrong and we follow the perspective that there is no “wrong”. Instead there is wisdom and ignorance. Where wrong can never become right, ignorance has the potential to become wise. Each situation and experience is a building block of evolutionary growth.
  • Work to separate one’s observations & feelings from the projections & stories that arise from them. Many disharmonies start simply from making stories based on observing only a small part of a larger situation. Our mind has the tendency to fill in the blanks and it can be very helpful if we understand that our stories are just that, stories. They may not be true.
  • Cultivate curiosity rather than judgement: Having  judgements about someone or something is a closed way of being. On the other hand asking from a place of true curiosity why someone is being or doing something in a certain way creates an opportunity for better communication and deeper understanding.

2)  Be transparent. No hiding. 

Transparency involves embodying qualities of openness, receptivity and vulnerability while cultivating consciousness. Consciousness is the main medicine and it is essential for resolution to first recognize that there is even an issue. First and foremost this is referring to being transparent with oneself and choosing to see all outer feedback coming to us as reflections of our inner world. When disturbed we first ask, “How is this a reflection of me? How am I being in this way? Am I disturbed because this person is reflecting something I don’t want to face in myself?” Some additional ground rules include:

  • No Gossiping (talking about others indirectly in a negative, venting or complaining manner). Gossiping never solves anything. Instead it only acts to create unnecessary drama that distorts reality. It is everyone’s responsibility not to gossip as well as call it out if others are engaging this way.
  • Instead, go to the source of your disturbance – our personal disturbing emotions. What is the real source of our emotions and how can we channel this energy without being dominated by it and hurting others? This exploration allows us to approach the external trigger/s directly from a grounded, compassionate and curious perspective. If support is needed then mediation can be very helpful.
  • Don’t be afraid of confrontation. Challenges are the raw ingredients for our growth and facing them in a grounded way allows for collective evolution.
  • Be open with others about your process and challenges, especially when it is affecting others.

3)  Be in integrity and 100% responsible.

Coming into integrity is a process of aligning one’s thoughts, words, actions and feelings. When a community unanimously takes 100% responsibility for all of these aspects of our being, an empowered and inspired space is created.

  • Focus on solutions, rather than problems. If you can see it you can solve it and the only way to bring real benefit is though a personal example. Fixing things is fun and makes others happy, complaining creates disharmony and discord.
  • Notice when you make a mess and clean up after yourself, be it energetic or physical.
  • Be honest and make amendments. When stepping out of integrity, take responsibility for this and be honest with oneself and others,making appropriate amendments with those who are affected. Sincere acknowledgement brings oneself back into integrity.

4)  Honor your true self.

It is not possible to be in service and bring benefit to others if one does not take care of oneself, especially around the basic needs of our human organism. Don’t assume that others will be able to read your mind and communicate your needs so the community can support each other.

It is essential to recognize that there may be a difference between what I want (based on conditioning) and what I need in order to thrive and actualize my full human potential. When detoxing one will often crave what is being released.

5)   Practice presence with self and others. 

“The true master is a beginner in every moment.” As we gather life experience, it can become increasingly difficult to maintain the beginners mind. We make the commitment to practice presence with ourselves and others, listening in an active way no matter how much we think we already know about what is being shared. Cultivating presence alone is all that is really needed to resolve and avoid disharmony and it is the greatest support anyone can give to another being and the community as a whole.

6)   Take initiative and be engaged. 

Everyone in the community takes initiative to be fully engaged in community projects and meetings as well as their personal growth and development. It is up to each person to benefit from their life experience and no one can undertake your personal evolutionary process for you. Each individual is committed to serve as an inspiration and example and be the change in the world.

FROM: http://blog.numundo.org/2015/11/29/how-to-create-sustainable-relationships-for-living-in-a-community/

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Currency: are you in the flow?

Before we had paper money, we had coins. Before coins, it was shells, beads, cacao beans, seeds that marked a quantity of value. These are all forms of currency, which means a current/flow of energy. The meaning most people attach to money makes it something so elusive, it can lure us away from noble goals of contributing to society, and into a dichotomy of scarcity/greed. It is a very valuable practice to deeply examine our relationship with money, and to recognize that we don’t have to subscribe to the scarcity/greed polarity which is what makes money seem so evil.

We must not make the mistake of wishing for and being attached to the goal of living without money, as long as we are entirely dependent upon it to stay warm, move ourselves about in vehicles, have water brought into our homes, etc.. To do so sets up a very negative relationship with the very source of our survival. How can we hate what keeps us alive, simply because we are telling ourselves the story that we don’t have enough to live the way we wish we could live? It is crucial that we learn to not only be grateful for what is available to us, but to completely honor what it takes to provide these things–if it’s not money directly exchanged from our own hands to the provider of the sustenance, it is through the hands of someone else that we have some exchange with. Nearly all people who believe they are getting something “for free” are doing so because someone else is exchanging energy for money. It changes the dynamic of money entirely when, for example, one pays their electric bill with a feeling of gratitude for what they have been able to do because of having power available to them, rather than begrudgingly giving up the money, spiteful that we still need to pay for power because it’s become a controlled commodity. That kind of attitude does not attract a strong current of support into our lives. If anything, it reinforces the feeling that we are on a treadmill and never receiving enough to get anywhere.

money1

A very interesting phenomenon occurred halfway through the Permaculture Design Course I did a year ago, which was established on a “gift economy” basis. People were asked to pledge a contribution in some form, be it money, work hours, or material gifts, or a combination of the three. We were advised of the typical cost for a class like this with full accommodations ($1000-2000), and were asked in advance what we had to offer in exchange for education and certification in Permaculture. Our teachers agreed to teach this two-week course on the faith that the 24 students would contribute enough to compensate them for their teaching, their travel expenses, and the time spent away from projects at home. The land that hosted the class also needed some compensation for the food, electricity (including power that pumped all the water we used), time spent maintaining the facilities and kitchen, and a contribution to the property which could have rented the space out to someone else for hundreds or thousands of dollars. Built into that space rental would have been the cost of insurance, property taxes, mortgage payments and infrastructure costs. The gift-economy format was experimental, and we all learned a lot of valuable lessons from it. Here is what occurred:

About a week into the class, the teachers announced that it was now time for everyone to offer up their donations. Those who fully intended to contribute in cash handed their envelopes to the teachers within a day or two of this announcement. Those who had in mind some sort of work/trade arrangement with the teachers and the land either verbally discussed that with them, or handed them something in writing. I myself gave as much money as I could afford to give, and offered various skills in work/trade for the rest, to be cashed in upon at a later date (including custom clothing for the teachers). I also had some building materials available for use if desired. I remember feeling like I wished I could have given more, because I knew that what I was receiving was infinitely valuable to my personal growth, my ability to support my family more sustainably, and my ability to contribute more to my community. And I think some others felt the same way–guilty that they couldn’t give more. For some, that guilt may have paralyzed them from offering anything at all. It seemed like a few interpreted “gift economy” to mean if you don’t think you have anything of value, you just don’t give anything, and lean on the fact that some people in the group had good jobs and contributed $500 or more. A few people may have been completely unrealistic about what it took for these teachers to get themselves across the country and immersed in educating a sometimes challenging group of people, and possibly not aware that “good vibes” don’t pay for airfare.

The teachers asked that we circle up and have a meeting about this, because once they added up the financial contributions, they found that the amount fell far short of their expenses. This was the cause of much frustration and stress for them, and the students seemed confused about what suddenly seemed like an expectation which had not previously been disclosed. The feelings sweeping the room were of indignation, guilt, shame, sadness, fear, even some anger. We were shown a breakdown of how much it cost to host and teach the class, and compared that to how much money had been received. We were at about half. The other gifts contributed were considered and definitely appreciated, but without meeting the very base expenses, our teachers were essentially paying to depart from their lives and projects at home to come and teach a bunch of broke hippies about permaculture. It was very important for us to realize how unfair that was. It was also important for the teachers to recognize that they had not made it clear from the start the very minimum amount of money they needed in order to feel compensated for their time and knowledge. Assumptions got muddled up with faith, and it was very uncomfortable for everyone.

One hundred dollar bills in the shape of a heart isolated on white background The love of money

Thankfully, the folks at Heartstad Intentional community were well-versed in non-violent communication, and our conversation was conducted with ardent and compassionate concern for one another. There was some anger, some tears, some laughter, and ultimately an incredible sense of bonding as we held space for each others fears and epiphanies. I can only speak for myself, but I came away from that experience better understanding the value of someone else’s time, and with a new commitment to making sure energy exchange agreements are outlined clearly from the beginning so assumptions don’t get in the way of helping each other get what we need.

I wish to begin a support group series, either in person here on the land, or online via Google Hangout or some other video chat service, that open up a dialogue and invite each of us to reflect upon our stories about money, perhaps considering making adjustments in the way we think about our exchanges. I think it would benefit everyone on an individual as well as community level to better understand how much of “being broke” is self-perpetuated, and explore ways of changing the dynamic that makes it so hard for us to give money to others in exchange for their goods or services, even if they are things we really appreciate and need. To be not fixated on money as an end game, but in right relationship with it as a tool to manifest the things we believe in, is in my opinion the definition of financial success.

MoneyFlow-Web

It is important for us in the early stages of community participation that it’s understood by everyone that Dreamseed needs as much support as it can gather up from people, and some of that support needs to come in the form of money so we can build a more adequate and inspiring infrastructure for future events and classes. We do a LOT here without directly spending money, by getting materials for free, by putting in man-hours and trying to be efficient with our time and resources. However, what isn’t always clear is that to go pick up free building materials, we need money for gas or to rent a truck. It takes money to create storage space for keeping materials. It will take money to register and fix up the trailer I am getting from Our Sacred Acres so it can be available to the community for hauling free building materials. Every time the toilet is flushed or the shower run, it costs money to run the electric well pump. Time spent on preparing for, hosting and cleaning up after an event is time our residents spend away from making money from other work. Firewood burned during events requires time to chop and stack; time which could equal money if spent elsewhere. And aside from all this, the mortgage and insurance costs are nearly $2000, just to be able to live and work here. For us, time is the next best thing to money in terms of making progress. Money is the most direct way to get material things, while time is usually what progresses our projects along the best. A balance of both is what’s required to make these dreams come true.

If you have been invited to an event at Dreamseed, we ask that you please consider everything I have shared here, and take some time to research what we are developing here for use by the community so you might feel more inspired to support us with a cash donation, commitment to future work hours, or a combination of both. We try to maintain a list on this website of materials items we are in need of, so please check that list if you might have something we could use. We will be doing some crowdfunding over the winter to raise the money we need to build a community roundhouse for workshops, yoga classes, ceremonies, movie screenings and more. Your pledge to help spread the word will make all the difference in the success of that fundraiser. We wish for you to have everything you need and more, and to make good choices about what you do with the energy you have to contribute to the world.

Don’t sit and wait!

It’s not enough to dream. We must take action once we have gotten a vision of what we want to create. And in order to take action, we must know where to begin. I have learned that it is far more effective to begin wherever we are and work with what we do have, than it is to sit and wait for the things we think we need in order to get started. Pull the vision from the dreams and make a plan that starts right where you are, moving forward.

It’s not enough to believe. Belief is a slippery slope that can cause us to lose ground and fail to take action that could achieve our goals. When we cling to belief as if it were our savior, we sit and wait for blessings, often missing opportunities to make use of the blessings which have already arrived. Don’t sit and wait. If you must wait for the universe to pass you the ball, at least get up and start running towards the goal. When you do catch that ball, you will be much closer to the goal than you would have been sitting and waiting.

It’s not enough to wish. Wishing is believing in magic without participating energetically. We may not be able to make everything happen with our own power, but to sit and wait for magic to happen is childish. We must participate in summoning what we need by creating something important. Create something important in the world and make yourself more worthy of receiving assistance. No more sitting and waiting. No more wishing. All those pennies I threw in the fountain trying to get a Ballerina Barbie to show up in my life were wasted. I should have tried asking a real human for what I wanted instead of some imaginary being, and saved those pennies to buy it myself if I didn’t get what I asked for.

Oh, and it’s not enough to ask. We must be convincing and make a compelling case for ourselves to prove that we are deserving of receiving what we are asking for. Most people have heard some version of the parable, “Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day; teach him how to fish and he’ll eat forever”. Out of pity they might offer up a fish, but keep asking for fish and at some point they will be onto your game and expect you to do your part to solve your own hunger problem. If someone gives you some seeds, you may eat a few to satisfy your immediate hunger. But it is wise to eat only half of your seeds and plant the other half, even if you are still a little hungry. Demonstrate that you are willing to participate in creating something for the future with the things you are asking for, and you will be more likely to receive them. God helps those who help themselves. Learn to fish. Sow your seeds. Ask for help once you have already started. Build your own sail, put the boat in the water, and if you must sit and wait for that wind, try to catch some fish while you’re waiting. 🙂

Regeneration

This website has been in a deep slumber for over a year and the Facebook page has been getting all the attention. With over 300 followers there, it’s been a lot of work just keeping up with the posts and messages. Since we partnered with the New Earth Nation, people have been contacting us through the Facebook page about visiting Dreamseed, and that has motivated me to pick up where I left off with this website, so i don’t have to feel embarrassed when I tell people there is nothing current on the site.

This is indeed a time of rebirth and regeneration, as spring has come early in the Pacific Northwest. The frogs are singing at night, sometimes even hopping across the road to find mates. The salamanders are waking up and coming out of their hiding places. Deer are out at all hours of the day to nibble on fresh buds and leaves over a month before they normally emerge, and I have to hold myself back on a daily basis from planting any seeds in the garden–we have had snow and ice in March before, so I am not convinced there won’t be another frost that would kill seedlings that sprouted from impatiently-cast seed.

So what we’ve been doing here with this energy of rebirth is purging the land of things that are not useful or in alignment with the vision of a beautiful, inspiring place to be. Some things are being organized and stored, some will be repurposed into art or structures, others donated or discarded if they can’t be repurposed. And at the same time, I myself am doing some internal cleansing by returning to a vegetarian diet and partaking in a 2-month intestinal cleanse. Working on myself in tandem with working on the land is bringing me that much more in tune with my environment. It was during my visioning for the chicken run area that it occurred to me I should be vegetarian for a while, perhaps adopting for the future a diet that only includes animal products that I procure myself directly from animals I raise or steward here. It is far too easy for us to obtain and consume meat, fish, eggs and dairy products. I wish to develop a deeper sense of respect for these animal lives before I indulge as I have been for the past few years. What is being reborn in me as I clear myself of stagnant energy is my gentleness, my subtlety, and the deep reverence I once had for all life forms. It is enhancing the way I interact with plants as well. My cat seems to like me more all of a sudden. 🙂

What lies ahead at Dreamseed is some natural building projects that should be underway by the beginning of May. We are setting aside all the materials for the construction of a composting toilet outhouse, and an earthship-style dwelling that people will be able to stay in when they visit here. There will be 2-3 new Hugelkultur beds and a large keyhole bed in the garden, and we will be attacking the burn pile bit by bit so we can gain access to the prime full-sun location it has occupied for years. The outdoor kitchen will be cleared by the summer (it is currently being used as a workspace for a construction project) so if anyone wants to help put together a community kitchen, please see the page of materials we need. In order to support more visitors and short-term residents here, it is essential that we have a second kitchen and at least one more toilet on the land. If you have experience building with cob, constructing composting toilets, or setting up outdoor kitchens, we need your help this spring!

Also up ahead is the crowdfunding on Kickstarter for the yurt that will become our classroom and community meeting space. It will be furnished with a rocket stove and the lighting will all be solar. This will also serve as sleeping space for guests. The cost of the yurt and platform materials is around $10,000. Some of the perks available to those who donate include handmade goods such as art objects and talismans, personal services, tuition for upcoming classes and workshops, and rental of the facilities. In preparation for this fundraiser, this website is also getting an overhaul, so look for some beautiful changes coming soon.

That’s about all there is to report this time around. We appreciate your patience as Dreamseed has spent a long year dreaming and has suddenly awoken ready to sprout and grow like a wild vine. Now is the time to clear out anything that stands in the way of new growth. I embrace this work with gratitude.

Elemental education

In case you are wondering why there hasn’t been a blog post in nearly two months, it’s because we mainly use the Facebook page to communicate with people following us. It enables us to post quick updates on projects and call on people to help out, but this blog provides ample space to share more deeply and completely our experience at Dreamseed, for those who really want to know. Blog posts will become a regular thing as we get used to documenting our process, so please follow this page and look out for an announcement of our permanent website, which will be at http://www.dreamseedcollective.org.

So much has been done in the past month, once the weather started working in our favor. I will list some of the things we have started or completed, and then when I get to the home computer, I’ll add some photos. We are actively developing the land every weekend and welcome as much help as we can get with gardening, landscaping and construction projects. Please see the “what we need” link for a more precise list of things we need and what we need help with, but for now, I am calling in a professional plumber for a fairly simple renovation.

The main vegetable garden has received a lot of loving attention recently. The beds are nearly all cleared and tilled, ready to plant as soon as we remove some more salmonberry from the peripheral beds. Topsoil and compost was ordered so there is plenty of soil to fill the garden boxes and medicinal herb garden. The retaining wall around the herb garden is still under construction but close to being ready to fill and plant. Tomatoes will most likely be grown in pots in the sunniest spot of the property, so this week we are getting those seeds growing in a greenhouse. It’s a late start for tomatoes from seed, so we are hoping that the farmer’s almanac is correct and this will be a hot summer. We are challenged by some large patches of moving shade across the gardens and face the dilemma of whether or not to remove some trees. Rather than make a hasty decision, we may have to ride out this growing season and see what kind of yield we get before taking down any of the beautiful cedars that give so much character to the meadow.

The more time I spend immersed in nature with my hands in the earth or on rocks, tree branches or vines, the more I learn the most basic lessons of life. These are lessons that could have saved me a lot of grief earlier in life had I learned them as a child. While moving large stones to build a retaining wall, I remembered my initial frustration and sense of defeat when I saw the size of some of those stones–I thought there was no way I would be able to move any of them. But once I dove in and just started creating the retaining wall, I realized that there were in fact some rocks that I could move by myself. As for the ones I could not move, they taught me that a lot of things in life are already decided, and rather than react to those things with frustration or disappointment, we can choose to accept the way they are and move around them. The rocks I couldn’t move were anchors for the rest of the wall, which was decidedly not perfect, and the rocks I could move were placed in between the others and carefully piled to create a wall to contain the soil. We can do what we can with what we have, and work around everything else. 

I am also learning more subtle lessons from vines, branches, other plants with their own strong agenda. I am learning to listen to plants more deeply. I am remembering what fertile, healthy soil smells like, and I am remembering how much I loved all animals as a child. We have a few amazing owls on our land that we have yet to see but can hear clearly at night. We have five deer who wander through and graze, and until we have a dog, we will have to protect our food from them. They can eat their fill of salmonberry leaves. The other night I heard what sounded like a LOT of coyotes. And we have many frogs of all sizes. These creatures are the totem animals of Dreamseed and I feel called to create a piece of artwork that represents their energies.

Overall, it is beyond clear that we made the right decision by jumping into this endeavor. We are all getting into shape and breathing lots of fresh, clean air every weekend, soaking up the sunlight and basking in the beautiful sounds of the forest. The stream can be heard from my camper and it is better than any music I could choose at home. Eventually I will live at Dreamseed full-time, after a gradual, careful transition that takes care of all my personal needs and enables me to approach the work of building at a reasonable pace to avoid burnout.

In the next few weeks, we will be getting and installing rain barrels for drinking water. I have been paying extra attention to gutters on residential buildings and researching different methods of water collection. Drinking rain water makes the most sense and alleviates any concerns we may have about the well water, which smells strongly of sulfur. Contemplating it all has got my mind on water in general. I relate most strongly to water and earth, of all the elements, so I am applying myself primarily in those directions. But all of the elements ask for consideration when you live so close to nature. I’m sure they will all have lessons for me in time.

The Sun seems to be demanding the most attention as we make plans to grow food. We have made charts of sun/shade hours in the gardens and will choose planting locations accordingly. It would be very helpful to have someone come out and consult with us about the cedar trees that are making the most shade in our food growing areas. If we do end up having to take the trees out, we intend to use all the wood to build with, to keep the energy of those trees close to home.

Thank you for following our blog and please be sure to follow us on Facebook too. If you are able to pitch in and help us out this month (May), please send a message to dreamseedcollective@gmail.com or through the Facebook page. We hope that you will plant some Dream Seeds of your own this spring.

 

jodi

A Done Deal.

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Today is a very auspicious day. 3/13/13. While a new Pope was introduced to the world, Justin and I were signing all the paperwork at the title company. We are now officially ready to rock. There is a lot to do, and we are prioritizing the list right now. This weekend we will be thoroughly cleaning the house and painting. The following week we will begin preparing the garden beds and rebuilding the porch at the head of the garden where we will be germinating the seeds. I am in the meantime looking for a motor home for myself to stay in while I work on the land, since I will not be moving up there until the fall.

It has been very scary for me, giving the majority of my savings to this dream, leaving me very little to live on while I make the transition to full-time dream farmer. A few people have warned me that this is very risky, financially-speaking, and my own mother stopped talking to me because she doesn’t believe this is what my grandparents wanted me to do with my inheritance. I’m not sure why these people can’t see what this country is becoming. It is dominated by corporations and financial interests, from the food supply to medical care to the job market. The banking system is corrupt, the war machine overseas eats up all the money that could be helping people thrive on our own turf. Cancer and Diabetes rates are skyrocketing and few people have any idea that they have invited disease, anxiety and depression into their lives by buying into the processed food industry. This is not living, in my opinion, and we won’t be raising more drones for that machine. It may take a while for us to be self-sufficient with all systems operating 100% sustainably, but we are not expecting anything overnight. Baby steps are good enough. We are all about the learning process. Neither of us has ever done any construction other than a bit of drywall hanging and taping. We are about to dive headfirst into learning the skills that Mother Earth News has been writing about since the 70’s. I keep catching myself recoiling and wanting to go back to where I was before I made this decision, but I am literally being dragged into this future by a force greater than myself–I was destined to become a teacher and community leader from birth. I am too far removed from mainstream American society to ever go back again, because I can see it for what it is: a big joke strewn with veins of lies. I have been living my truth for so long, all I know to do is design a future in which people can freely, fearlessly live their own truths.

So on a lighter note, Dreamseed the visionary retreat center has been born, and Dreamseed the arts academy is in the planning stages, along with Dreamseed Botanicals, which will have its first seeds planted at the Equinox. We need tons of help, so please bookmark this page and check up on what we are working on each week and what we need. Once we have the camping area ready, we will be able to host people for a weekend to help out. I am guessing that will be toward the beginning of May. Over the summer we intend to build a few cottages, composting toilets, a chicken coop, obtain a yurt to use as a meeting space, maybe even build a gypsy wagon. The more hands and donations we have, the more we can accomplish before the rain returns.

Thank you for reading this and for believing in this dream–it’s not just our dream, it’s a dream a lot of people have had for a long time. Many dreamers have mused on what it would be like to have their own land, grow their own food, to be able to create whatever they want to create 24/7. Everyone seems to be talking about it. If you have moved beyond the stage of dreaming and talking and want to start doing, we would love for you to join us. There is a Facebook group I started called Earthship Pirates where you can learn and contribute what you know on topics of sustainable living, homesteading, natural building, alternative energy and more. For now, that is where I am stashing all the links to relevant information about these topics and we welcome your contributions.

In gratitude and service,

Jodi

Ground Zero, soaking the seed

I have been working on this website all day, trying to move it closer to the point where it can be shared. This is not our official website, it is a temporary fix while we work on getting WordPress installed and a custom theme tweaked to our liking. Our permanent site will be located at http://www.dreamseedcollective.org. We will have some stickers and other stuff out in the world with that site on it, so when you see it, you will know that it’s the same crew. I have learned over the years that waiting until you have everything you think you need before moving forward with a project usually leaves you daydreaming about perfection, meanwhile, you are still just sitting in front of a computer with nothing. My new approach is to work with what I have, knowing that it can always be improved upon in the future, many times over if necessary. Everything, including ourselves, is a work in progress.

I believe in the power of visualization as a preliminary stage of making something real. Justin and I envisioned this particular piece of property someday being developed into a retreat center for creative inspiration. It took many years of dreaming and waiting and letting go for us to reach the point we’re at right now, just barely able to pull this off. Between the two of us, we have just enough resources to purchase the land, and we are working on a fundraising campaign and some grant writing to manifest the money we will need to develop it into a fully functional learning and retreat center. We are currently in the “paperwork” stages of the real estate transaction, so in that downtime, we are hard at work visualizing what exactly we intend to create this spring and summer. For me, that looks like developing a graphic identity, branding, logos, color schemes, slogans, organizing from the inside out. That is how I make things real–I literally draw them first, and then project my drawings into reality. Even by writing this blog post I am invoking my intentions, and at the same time, documenting my creative process so it can be repeated and taught to others. I figure, if you’re going to all the trouble of manifesting impossible things, you may as well record what you did so other people can do the same. We need as many impossible things achieved in the world as possible!

So keep an eye on this site. Next, I will be outlining the order of events that will take place once we get the keys to the gate of the new Dreamseed headquarters. Or compound. Village? Campus? Grounds? Still working on naming that. For the moment, I am soaking our seeds, and just noticing that they have softened enough for a sprout to emerge. By tomorrow, we may see some growth.

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