Maren

The route takes shape!

Happy spring, everyone! (Or if you’re in the southern hemisphere, Happy autumn!) Are you feeling it? Have you been out to enjoy some sunshine, warmth, blossoms and new growth? I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the glimpses of it we’ve been getting here in Portland, with the cherry blossoms along the waterfront and everything else that emerges in this season.

And… I’ve been working on my route for my trip, and I’m so excited! I’ve had the general idea of where I want to go for a while, but I hadn’t had the skills yet in Google Maps to draw it, with a wide enough swath to allow the “wiggle room” I’m definitely building into the itinerary. But the other day I watched a tutorial, et voila!

The map above shows where I plan to go. My intention is to head south from Portland this September, and make the loop until the following September. Most of the journey will be done on my wonderful Brompton folding bike, with my awesome Chubby trailer. Certain sections will be done by Amtrak trains (one of my other favorite ways to travel!) Some short segments may also be done by city transit or other buses, or in a few cases, “road tripping”/carpooling with friends in a given area.

But, mostly by bike! I’m so excited to see all the natural beauty around the continent; to visit national parks and natural areas I’ve never seen (such as the redwood forests, Yosemite, Niagara Falls, and Glacier National Park); visit new-to-me cities, including but definitely not limited to San Antonio, Atlanta, Quebec City, and Toronto; and connect with people: friends, relatives, and lots of inspiring people I have not yet met!

As the trip draws closer, I am putting together a rough list of people who may be willing to host me for a night or two in their homes. The purpose of this trip—beyond physically challenging myself and enjoying the natural beauty of the land—is to give myself a chance to connect with inspiring people, and co-create as much magic as possible. I am seeking opportunities for in-depth conversations and connections about people’s dreams, ideas, and projects for making the world a better place, so that I can help them to hold those visions, spread the word about them, and network like-minded people together as I travel, so that they can all be more effective in manifesting this magic!

So, rather than camping or relying mostly on impersonal lodging such as hotels, I am seeking ways to stay with people for one to two nights at a stretch. I have several websites/organizations in mind that are well suited to this purpose: couchsurfing.com, warmshowers.org, and servas.org. (If you’re not familiar with that last one, take a look—it is a gem of a global peacebuilding organization, founded in the wake of the Second World War.)

But, as I discovered on my 2019 epic cross-country rail journey, I found many wonderful human connections through my friends-of-friends network. I am looking forward to more of this on this (extra!) epic journey, so if you’re reading this, I humbly request that you consider whether you or someone you know might be willing to host me in your/their home for a night or two when I come through your area. I do my best to be a gracious guest, and my goal is always for anyone I stay with to be happy that we had a chance to connect and talk about what’s important and meaningful to us. If you know people on a similar wavelength, along my route, I’d love it if you would put us in touch!

The blue pins on the map are places I’ve been offered to stay so far (thanks so much to everyone who has offered already!) but I’m always open to having multiple connections in any given place, so please feel free to reach out even if your city is already marked. Also, regardless of hosting, I would love to meet up with like-minded folks to talk, perhaps in a local park or café. The more connections, the better!

And, if you do want to connect either just to talk, or to host, I’d love to “meet up” beforehand, to have a phone or video chat to get to know each other a bit, and talk about dreams and projects. We can do that at any time—the sooner the better!—so that we can have a great jumping-off point for the conversation when we meet in person.

I’m so excited. Thank you all for following along with me and supporting my vision!


To schedule a one-hour session with me to talk about your dreams or projects, use the green “contact” button above!

To be notified of future blog posts, use the green “sign up” button to subscribe!

And/or, you can support my work financially with a one-time or monthly contribution, or even become a fairy godfunder (thank you to all my patrons and supporters!)

Offering pro bono support for dismantling -isms

If you’re reading this, I’m sure by now you’ve heard about the latest tragic American mass shooting in Atlanta. Gun violence mixed with racism, sexism, and classism, with predictably horrific results. You’re probably also aware that anti-Asian violence has recently been on the increase.

The United States—and much of the world—has a serious, entrenched problem with racism, as well as sexism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of “othering.” If you’re reading this, or if you follow any of my work, I trust that you wish to do everything you can to help dismantle these –isms, so that we can all live lives of safety and thriving interconnectedness.

Some of the best ways to do this:

1) Read and listen to voices of marginalized people

2) Make financial contributions to organizations working on these issues (especially organizations led by the affected marginalized people) and

3) Speak out and speak up on behalf of marginalized communities, whether through writing or social media posts, or in conversations where you hear people making statements that could harm others.

I do my best to do all of the above, but I also want to use my particular skill set to help. So, at this time I am offering one-hour phone or video sessions on the topic of dismantling –isms. These sessions are free of charge, because I want to make them as accessible as possible. (Although I encourage you to make a donation to an organization working on these issues, if you are able.)

I am hoping that a number of people will take me up on this. Topics you may wish to discuss could include your own experiences of various –isms, whether on the receiving end, or times you felt guilty for doing or saying something, or failing to do or say something, and what you’d like to do differently going forward; co-brainstorming about ways you’d like to contribute your own time, energy, skills, and/or money to work toward dismantling these structures; or any related topics. Perhaps you have an idea for an art project, educational effort, or political campaign to address these issues, and you’d like to talk about it and flesh it out, or get re-energized to work on it?

Whatever you wish to discuss, I will listen supportively, without minimizing, judging, or questioning your experiences. Schedule a session by messaging me at maren@dreamintochange.com.

Committing to 15 minutes a day

When we have a dream to work toward, it can be so exciting! Especially at first! All the good ideas are flooding our brain. We’re talking to friends about it! Maybe we’re posting about it on social media. We might make to-do lists about specific steps we’ll need to follow to manifest the dream.

But… after that initial excitement phase, sometimes we can fall into a rut. The buzz wears off in the chemistry of our brain. Most of our friends already know about our dream. There’s nothing new to post about it. Fears and doubts may begin to creep in. (“Oh, what about this aspect of things? I hadn’t thought of that.” “Is this really realistic?” “Do I really have the time or energy to take on a new project?”)

Day-to-day tasks and other priorities can start to crowd in, too. And before we know it, a month or two after we got lit up with Such An Exciting Idea!!… it can start to fade away.

Does this pattern sound familiar to you?

One strategy I have used effectively to combat this is to dedicate 15 minutes per day to my dream.Actually, to be fair, it’s kinda 30 minutes. But still totally doable. Here is what it looks like:

After my workday at my “day job”, I need to shift mental gears. So, when I get home, I sit down and dedicate 15 minutes to emptying my mind. I turn off the ringer on my phone, and set the timer for 15 minutes. I sit on the couch and mentally review the day so far. I reflect on what has happened during the day, and how I felt about those things at the time—good and bad—and how I handled things. I notice if I am proud of how I responded to a challenging situation, or perhaps acknowledge if I didn’t handle something as well as I would have liked. In either case, I note the event and my emotions and responses, and then let them go. (I sometimes find this to be a helpful gratitude exercise: often I remember cool little things that happened during the day that I would have forgotten if I hadn’t taken this time of reflection.)

By the time the ringer sounds, I feel more grounded, and the second half of my day is ready to begin.

Then, I set the timer for another 15 minutes. This time, I focus on visioning toward my dream. I think back briefly on the day again to see if anything has moved toward the fruition of my dream. (Did I contact someone? Did someone contact me? Did I write something? Did I get a new idea and jot it down?) Then I spend some time just smiling, and enjoying what my dream is. I imagine how it will feel as it unfolds. For example, since my present dream involves bicycling around the United States and Canada, I might imagine how I’ll feel while riding through a beautiful national park or a redwood forest. I allow myself to fully enjoy the feelings of a dream well manifested.

Then, I let my mind gently float toward small, manageable actions I could take to move toward it. Is there someone I could contact? Is there some topic I could research on Google or social media? Is there something I could write? Generally, without much effort, one or two such action steps float easily to me, and I make a mental note of them.

When the timer goes off, if an action step seems easy and quick enough, I might do it right then. If it will take more time or energy than I have at that moment, I’ll instead write it on a to-do list for later.

Fifteen minutes is a magical length of time. It seems small enough that it feels manageable. Yet, in the brain it is enough time for substantive forward motion to happen. I even use the 15-minute “trick” to do various other kinds of tasks in my life. Maybe I’m struggling to do an ongoing chore, or to read a challenging book. I can tell myself, “Hey, just set the timer for 15 minutes, and see how much you can do.” Sometimes I get a lot done in 15 minutes. Sometimes by the time I invest that time, I have built up enough momentum to continue on with the task. But I know I don’t have to, and that is the key.

If you haven’t tried this, I urge you to give it a go. (It doesn’t have to be in the early evening, either; it can be at whatever time of day works for you. You can break up the two 15-minute segments and do them at different times of the day, too, if that works better for you.)

I have spoken with many of you about your dreams. Can you set aside 15 minutes of each day for visioning them into fruition?

To schedule a one-hour session with me to talk about your dreams or projects, use the green “contact” button above!

To be notified of future blog posts, use the green “subscribe” button

And/or, you can support my work financially with a one-time or monthly contribution (thank you to all my patrons and supporters!)

What is your dream?


If you are reading this: What is your dream? Do you have one? (Maybe you have more than one?) Have you had dreams in the past? If so, did you manifest them, or not (yet)?

I’m hearing so many inspiring dreams these days as I talk to a wide range of folks. A few trends I’m noticing:

Many people dream of living a mobile-home or tiny-house life in some way, either traveling around, and/or living in one place, with a smaller footprint.

Many people dream of joining (or even creating from scratch) intentional communities, with like-minded folks of different generations and family sizes living together on shared land (possibly also in tiny houses) and possibly also farming the land together to be as self-contained and sustainable as possible.

Several people dream of opening up healing centers of various kinds, to support people with various physical challenges.These are just some of the dreams I’ve been hearing about.

What about you? Does one of the above call to you? Or perhaps something else?

This past year has been incredibly trying and challenging, for nearly everybody I’ve encountered. Many people I’ve been doing magical meetings with have incredible challenges in their lives, which can drain their energy.

But I find that when I talk with anyone about their dreams—whether they have tremendous challenges in their current life or not—their energy changes. They light up. They open up. They see possibilities, and get excited and motivated to begin taking action steps toward manifesting their dreams.

I myself am a perfect example of this. This past year for me included a flood of my living space which displaced me for three months; the sudden end of a 7-year romantic partnership; and a pandemic which brought up deep fears for me, of illness and my own mortality, fears for the health and lives of people I know and care about, and financial/income-related fears.

All of these challenges felt crushing upon me, for months.

But when this dream of the round-the-US solo bike tour came to me—complete with offering my gifts of emotional and strategic support to others to help them manifest their own dreams—my energy shifted drastically. Even though I have continued to face big challenges (such as losing all my lower teeth a few weeks ago, and knowing that the uppers will be next) I have been filled with a joie de vivre underpinning it all, because I know that I’m living into my dream. I visualize it, and work toward it, every day. It has absolutely changed my life.

So… what about you? What is your dream? Please feel free to comment here about it, and/or message me privately. If you’d like, I would love to support you with one or more “magical meetings” about it, via phone or video chat. Imagine if we were all living from this generative energy, moving forward toward beauty in our lives, even during times of pain or hardship. That’s the kind of world I want to live in!


To schedule a one-hour session to talk about your dreams or projects, use the green “contact” button above

To be notified of future blog posts, use the green “subscribe” button

And/or, you can support my work financially with a one-time or monthly contribution (thank you to all my patrons and supporters!)

“Brokering” good in the world

I’ve always resonated with the concept of a “broker.” Even though this concept often exists within fields that don’t resonate with me, such as the stock market or the insurance industry, I find the idea itself appealing. An insurance broker once helped me to find a good health insurance plan for myself. Real estate brokers help suitable buyers and sellers to interact in mutually beneficial ways. A broker is someone who learns thoroughly a complex field that an average person can’t be expected to understand… and then helps the average person to navigate that field. Ideally, everyone benefits within this model.

Of course, I have never “fit” within conventional models of pretty much anything, so my current take on brokerage is different.

What I am envisioning right now is that I would like to serve as a broker between people who have great ideas and projects, and great drive (and often great expertise) but who lack the funding to bring these ideas and projects to fruition within our existing economic and social structures… and people who have plentiful financial resources and want to support such people and their projects. (I have written about such “fairy godfunders” before, and I expect I will continue to do so.)

As regular readers will know, I am seeking one or more fairy godfunders to underwrite my work as someone who will travel the nation by bicycle, offering emotional and strategic support to people with great ideas and projects to make the world a better place. My intention is to manifest $50,000 by July 1st, so that I can take this trip for a year, from September 2021 to September 2022. (If you are reading this and you know someone who might want to “godfund” this for me, please feel free to put us in touch!)

But I don’t want this only for myself. As I have written before, there are many, many people who are extremely hardworking, intelligent, and creative thinkers, but whose ideas and work to make the world a better place are not easily funded via conventional means. I want to help these people to do the work they want to do, which will benefit countless people (arguably, all of us, collectively, in some way.) I know that there also exist many people of means who would  like to help these folks, and would like to do so in a very simple way, such as writing a check to a trusted individual, rather than going through an established nonprofit, for example. (Nonprofits are wonderful, but for a person with a great idea, they take an often-insurmountable amount of time and effort to set up, and the person’s time and energy could be better spent actually doing the work they would like to do. In fact, the prospect of setting up a 501(c)(3) nonprofit is such a barrier for some folks that it overwhelms their ability to simply do the work, from which we could all benefit.) 

I envision myself working discreetly, since I expect many fairy godfunders would prefer to remain anonymous. Therefore, I am currently envisioning/working toward a praxis in which I identify a cadre of such funders, while keeping their identities under wraps. Meanwhile, I am holding “magical meetings” with as many people as possible—people who have ideas and projects they are either just discovering for themselves, or on which they have been working for years. I am thrilled to be able to already be doing this powerful work—around the globe—before I even hop on my bike for my tour, but I expect that when I do get on the bike, I will meet even more such folks. I want to be prepared to help them financially, if and where appropriate. (I’ve been taking some inspiration from Leon Logothetis and his “Kindness Diaries” series.)

So… consider this post a combination of food for thought/conversation starter, and a direct request for contact with folks who might wish to participate in my vision as fairy godfunders for myself and/or others. Anyone interested may contact me at maren@dreamintochange.com, and I promise to keep identities private unless the person wishes otherwise.

Let’s make some magic happen this coming year!

Coolest bike trailer ever! (Or, how I spent my stimulus)

I’m so excited!! (And honestly kinda scared!)

I just placed my order for this amazing bike trailer, designed specifically for the Brompton by a company in the Netherlands (where they know a thing or two about cycling.) I saw the promotional video a few months ago, and couldn’t get it out of my mind.

Mind you, I’ve never biked with a trailer before. Not once.

I’m also not particularly mechanically inclined.

I know I will end up loving this, but I’m a little nervous about how I’ll feel when it actually arrives and I need to put it together, and then use it!

But.

This is such a tangible way for me to continue committing to this journey I’ve started. Part of me had thought, Why don’t I wait until later to get the trailer? What’s the rush? I don’t want to jump the gun.

It was fear.

“What if I later decide I needed that money?”

“What if something comes up to thwart the trip? I will have wasted the money!”

“Can I be the kind of person who has a bike trailer??”

And… as I’ve written before, these days I am choosing to allow my decisions to be guided by inspiration and trust, not fear.

The stimulus was the perfect nudge.

Meanwhile, I have been jumping into doing the interpersonal work that is every bit as much an essential part of this trip as bicycling equipment.

I’ve done 27 2021-intention-setting sessions since December 21st, which is more than one per day on average. I have loved every minute of it, and based on the feedback I’ve been receiving, so have the people I’ve been talking with. People are setting many different intentions for this year, but I’m loving some of the themes and overlaps I’m noticing, and I’ve also been enjoying connecting people with resources to support their dreams where I can. In some cases, this has included introducing some of these folks to each other, where their interests overlap.

This is what the trip is about. And the more sessions I do, the more powerful the network will become, to the benefit of everyone. I intend to continue doing this work from now through the end of the tour, and probably beyond. It’s not even just in the US, either: I’ve done one session with someone in Canada, and have scheduled another with someone in Australia.

I would love to do sessions with people in all US states (especially the ones I’ll be traveling through!) as well as countries around the world. How much of an impact can we all make, individually and collectively? There is so much important and beautiful work to be done to make this world a better place.

I continue to offer these sessions free of charge, with optional donations or trades welcomed but not at all expected. I believe this work needs to happen, and I love to do it, and I trust the money will work itself out.

Do you have dreams for the coming year? Would you like one of these sessions? Comment or email me (maren@dreamintochange.com) to schedule a one-hour phone call or video chat.

Would you like to support my efforts financially? I’m accepting one-time donations via PayPal (you can send it straight to the above email address) or monthly support at www.patreon.com/dreamintochange. My aim is to manifest $50,000, via various sources, for the year I’ll be on the road. (If you happen to know any fairy godfunders, please feel free to put them in touch!)

I’ll keep you updated on the bike trailer when it arrives. Meanwhile, I hope your dreams are unfolding joyfully in this tumultuous world. We need the forward momentum of our dreams more than ever at a time like this.

Our powerful dreams for the new year

Happy New Year, all!

I don’t think I can—nor do I even want to—say anything about 2020 that hasn’t already been said… but WOW, did I grow a lot through all of the pain and challenges I faced. I hope you all found growth in your own pain and challenges as well. 2021 feels like turning the page of a brand-new journal, getting ready to write all kinds of magical new stories, using alchemy to transmute the pain of the past year into something beautiful.

On December 21—fittingly, the winter solstice—I began diving head first into offering what I want to continually offer to the world from now at least until the end of my yearlong bike tour, and quite possibly for the rest of my life. Between the 21st and the 31st, I have held 17 one-on-one phone or video chat sessions with folks both known and unknown to me, to reflect on their past year and set intentions for the new year.

It has been amazingly rich, as I knew it would be. People are incredibly resilient and creative. And the power of simply holding supportive space for people to talk for an hour never ceases to amaze me. Many of these sessions started with people who were exhausted and/or in deep pain from the events of the past year, and/or their difficult current life circumstances, beyond their control. And yet, almost without exception, by the end of the hour they were feeling inspired and joyful, with dreams beginning to coalesce for the coming year. One person said, “Now I have a compass,” and I loved it! We all need a compass. We all need dreams. No matter our current circumstances, we need something beautiful, larger than ourselves, to move toward and light us up when day-to-day life is painful or tedious.

Dreaming up this bike tour has absolutely served that purpose for me. After many painful setbacks in 2020—from a flood in January that displaced me from my home for three months, to the abrupt ending of a wonderful seven-year romantic partnership, to fears of losing my health and/or income from a terrifying and powerful global pandemic—this dream rose from those setbacks. If not for the “openings” represented by the “closings,” this dream could not have come forth.

And it has transformed my day-to-day mental and emotional state from one of turmoil, pain, anger, and fear to one of excitement, empowerment, and joy. Of course I still have day-to-day emotional setbacks, but now that I have this “compass”—this beacon—it all fits within a very different context.

I will sign off here, lest I write too much. (I fear I did so in my last post.) I intend that I write shorter pieces here, more frequently. I love keeping in touch with you all. I feel joyful, humbled, and deeply grateful to my new patrons—I have five now! Yay! Thank you all so much!—and I am joyfully trusting that this will continue to grow, as my momentum grows.

I intend to write more about people’s dreams (with their permission, of course, and perhaps withholding names in some cases) because I believe that dreams shared become more powerful: they manifest much more quickly for the dreamer, and also inspire others to bring forth dreams of their own. I also intend to share more of the wisdom I glean from talking to people. I have begun noticing themes and trends, and I believe that these can be powerful to share with my readers as well.

I have several more intentions sessions lined up for the next week, and I am actively seeking more for January, so if you would like to schedule a time with me, contact me at maren@dreamintochange.com. Payment/donation for these sessions is optional, and if you do choose to offer it, it can take many creative forms. Right now my top priority is connecting with people for these sessions, regardless of compensation. I trust that the material abundance will find me, probably in mysterious and magical ways.

Thank you all for joining me on this journey. Here’s to an incredible new year for all of us!

www.patreon.com/dreamintochange

Ten hours to dream up the New Year (and change the world…?)

I haven’t made a new blog post in a while. I briefly lost momentum. I allowed this to happen, and did my best not to judge myself or go into a fear spiral about how my lack of inspiration and motivation to keep writing meant that I’m a failure in general, and can never see a project through, and that this means my entire dream is going to fall apart, and I’ll be humiliated and depressed forever.

Whew, glad I didn’t follow that spiral! (Do some of you recognize that spiral?)

The weather has been Decemberish, and so I haven’t been cycling, really, except for my 3-mile-each-way commute. That’s OK too. Part of what is so meaningful and powerful for me about the process of my dream and vision is that I am doing this for my own pleasure. My own pleasure, of course, includes being of service to the world in the most effective and powerful ways I know how… but I’m really living into a life shift, here, from doing things from a sense of duty or obligation, or thinking that there are certain things I “have to” do (like bicycling in places or weather I would rather not)… to really dreaming into my own change, my own new way of life, where I do things because they bring me joy and satisfaction.

So… as the solstice approaches, I’ve been spending a lot of cozy time on my couch. I have been enjoying music, talking with friends by phone or video, and visioning into this journey.

The other day, a specific vision/action came to me:

I want to get started on this journey now! My dream has two parts: 1) bike around the USA (and parts of Canada) and 2) help shift the world in a positive direction by offering emotional and strategic support to people who care.

I need to wait for circumstances to line up for the first part. My vision is that this will happen next September. But the second part can begin immediately!

I also need to get serious about manifesting the financial/material means to take the physical trip in September. My vision is to somehow create/receive $50,000 (or its equivalent in goods and services) to last me the year of the trip. I continue to hold a vision for one or more fairy godfunders… but I also want to build a broad base of financial and material support. Of course I already have my Patreon set up. (Thank you to my early patrons!!) I am also considering a more traditional crowdfunder, such as GoFundMe. We will see.

As I’ve described before, I wish to offer emotional and strategic support to people who are a good fit to work with me. Some of these people may approach me, and others I might approach, based on my intuition. And, in many ways, I would like to decouple this offering of support from a pay-for-service model. (Hence the other funding sources I’m dreaming up.) But, that traditional model can still provide some of my funding. This project will take a variety of creative sources.

So! Because I wish to offer my supportive skills, and because I wish to begin raising the funds, I have a short-term vision that excites me in this moment: Ten sessions before 2021! If you’re reading this, I hope you can help me with this vision in some way. Here is what I’m seeking:

I want to offer hour-long sessions, by phone or video chat, to ten people between now and New Year’s Day. The more geographically diverse, the better! During each session, I will listen supportively to each person as they describe challenges they have faced in this year, and/or describe a vision for the coming year that excites them, for their own lives and/or for the larger community. As with all my sessions, the content will be confidential unless the person wishes for me to help publicize their idea in order to help it manifest more quickly or powerfully. Those of you who have worked with me before can attest to the surprising power of a simple one-hour conversation.

A few testimonials, from over the years:

“Maren’s ability to hold space is a truly magical thing. I feel like that hour gave me a much needed release, and I can’t express how deep of an impact it has had on me, even months later.”

“I felt invigorated and empowered, more alive and full of hope than I had in a long while. I felt after our session, I can do this.”

“My dreams are alive again, thanks to Maren. … She’s a great listener. When she provides feedback, her language in describing what she just heard is inspiring in itself. Suddenly my dream sounds legitimate!”

“I always come away feeling lighter and softer and more optimistic that our most glorious dreams come true. We can do it!”

Wow; it feels great to read those again. I am humbled and inspired to have worked with all of the wonderful people above. 

In return for these ten sessions I’m offering, I request one or more of the following, based entirely on the means and comfort level/preferences of each person:

* Traditional pay-for-service model. My standard rate is $95/hour

* Pay-for-service model at a pay-what-you-choose rate. This could be less than the standard rate if funds are a barrier, or more than that rate if funds are not a barrier and you wish to contribute extra to my journey

* Sign up as a monthly patron of my Patreon, at whatever rate feels right. I believe the minimum contribution is $2/month, and the average is about $8. I don’t believe there is a maximum.

* A trade or in-kind contribution, which may or may not approximate $95 (see above). Some examples of things I am seeking:

          * WordPress website/blog support (big need! The site is very outdated)

          * Free or discounted items for the trip such as Clif bars and the like, lodging credits for hotels or AirBnbs (I won’t always be able to find in-person hosts for every location, sadly), bike/rain gear, etc. Do you have an “in” with a provider of any of the above?

           * Possibly other items or services you have access to that I haven’t thought of yet

* Help me to spread the word of this vision by sharing it with like-minded friends or audiences. Specifically, I would request that you share the Patreon link that outlines my vision and preface it with some words from your own heart about my vision and/or a testimonial of your experience doing a session with me, if you have. Of course that second part is optional if you prefer to keep it private


So… what say ye?? Can you help me to manifest ten sessions by the end of this year? My intention is that each person who receives a session will find it to be a powerful way to put this year to rest and open up wonderful possibilities for the coming year. And, I hope that with ten of them, I/we will collectively begin to experience the magic and synergy that comes from multiple people setting intentions. That is what my journey is all about!

If you’d like to do a session, or know someone else who might, please contact me at maren@dreamintochange.com

Happy almost-turn-of-the year, everyone. Good things are coming; I feel it.

“Fairy godfunders”?

I’ve been thinking more about this vision I have for a bike tour for a better world, and also about “the money that’s wanting to be spent.” Many thoughts and feelings have flowed through me in the past week since my last post.

Another great phone conversation with a far-flung friend deepened my thinking on these matters. This friend, in her late 30s, is someone whose intellect, knowledge, and heart-centered wisdom I deeply respect. She has tremendous gifts to offer the world by combining her heart and mind to serve others. She has specific visions for how she would like to do this.

And yet, on a day-to-day basis, she spends her physical and mental energy toiling in obscurity in an office, barely keeping her head above water, in order to pay her living expenses and significant student loans.

The world is worse off as a result of this, not to mention my friend herself, who could be personally thriving if she could give her gifts in a way that would also cover her living expenses.

After the phone call, I thought of many more friends in similar situations. I know many people who are gifted healers, artists, and other kinds of creators, but who do not have the ability to sustain themselves via these gifts to the world. I place myself in this category, as I earn my keep at an administrative day job while wishing I could be “changing the world” with a much higher percentage of my time and energy.

There are deep structural, economic, and cultural roots to this problem, and there is no quick or easy solution. Tax reform, student-loan reform, and healthcare reform would all go a long way toward alleviating the financial pressure so many Americans live under on a daily basis. But those things will take time, and they will not completely solve the problem I see, which is that in our cultural/economic system in the USA, we have “externalized” the costs of human wellbeing. Of human thriving.

I thought again about how so many healers and artists struggle to “market” ourselves, to “sell” our goods and services. Doing so feels icky; it feels antithetical to what we are offering to the world, because it seems base and self-serving, even though everyone agrees we need to have money to survive in society.

But then I also took this line of thought a step further: it feels icky to me that, as a society, we expect people who need healing of any kind—medical, mental-health, emotional, spiritual—to pay for this healing themselves. In an optimal society that I can envision, people who need any kind of healing should be able to receive it for free. Of course, in most industrialized countries, this is already the case, at least for medical issues. But not in the US. Not today.

What I envision is a society-wide decoupling of the costs of healing work from the “transaction” between healer and client or patient. Tax reform could play a large role in a long-term solution.

In the short term, though, I keep thinking of the enormous disparities of wealth in the USA. I know many people like myself, who feel reasonably financially comfortable only if we work at jobs that do not feed our souls, and often do not truly benefit the larger community. I also know many people who are not financially comfortable at all. They have no retirement savings, and sometimes struggle to pay their basic shelter, food, and medical expenses. Meanwhile, in May of this year, CNBC.com reported that there are 630 billionaires in the United States, while other sources report approximately 18.6 million millionaires nationwide.

I recently read about Chuck Feeney, an 89-year-old man who gave away more than $8 billion of his personal fortune between 1982 and 2020, leaving himself with just a “nest egg” to last him comfortably until the end of his life. He gave to schools and nonprofits, much like many other wealthy individuals such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. I admire such philanthropy.

And here is my suspicion, based on my own tenuous but growing trust in magic, and also my community ties to many people in the Burning Man world: There exists a small but significant group of people with personal wealth over, say, $1 million, who would derive meaningful pleasure from sharing some amount of their wealth that is relatively insignificant to them, but would be very meaningful to someone like me or many of my creative or healer friends who want to give to the world. Say, $50,000.

I would like to find someone like this. Or perhaps two or three. A “fairy godfunder,” if you will. In fairy tales, we understand fairy godmothers to be benevolent beings who give from their own abundance to help those who could benefit from their help. They trust that by helping their protégés in material and/or spiritual ways, the world becomes a better place.

Most of us have heard about “angel investors” who provide startup capital for risky business ventures, hoping that some of these startups will succeed and pay off financially for them. My idea is similar, but I envision funders who are not motivated by the prospect of further increasing their own wealth, but rather by the opportunity to use their own resources to make a positive change for individuals and the collective.

Chuck Feeney, the billionaire philanthropist, wrote, “I cannot think of a more personally rewarding and appropriate use of wealth than to give while one is living—to personally devote oneself to meaningful efforts to improve the human condition.”

And… of course I don’t just want this funding for myself, although the spark to think about it came from thinking that if I were to receive a “godfunder” check for $50,000, I could stop worrying about money and simply start planning my trip, as well as immediately offering free empathy and coaching sessions to anyone who felt like a good fit for me to work with for a win-win outcome.

One possible vision is a platform that would fall conceptually somewhere between Patreon, Kiva, Kickstarter, and GoFundMe, but would be aimed less at crowdfunding and more at larger, one-on-one (or perhaps 2- or 3-on one) sponsorships, allowing healers and creatives to spend less time and energy on fundraising, and allowing more meaningful relationships between the “godfunder” and funding recipient. Startups and tech are not my thing, but it seems to me that setting up such a platform might be another great use for perhaps $50K from a funder who could be paired with someone who has the skills and desire to build such a platform.

And if I could find a handful of such potential godfunders, I could end up connecting them with various people I meet in the course of my trip. People who have great ideas for projects, but would need funding to get started.

There could be various kinds of accountability built in, of course, such as an agreement for a total annual “grant” of money, but an arrangement for monthly disbursal, based on mutually agreed-upon benchmarks of forward movement in the project. Such accountability is one reason many funders prefer to give to established organizations such as 501(c)(3) nonprofits… but taking the time and energy to start such a nonprofit (or even to locate and secure an “umbrella” organization to receive and disburse the funds) is yet another potentially overwhelming layer of work and bureaucracy for a healer or creative to take on, when their optimal use of time and energy for the greater benefit would be to simply use their own skills to uplift others.

I trust that there are such potential funders out there, who appreciate such efficient, direct, and out-of-the-box ideas for turning their “money that is wanting to be spent” into a win-win-win scenario for themselves, their funding recipients, and the greater good.

Now to find these folks…!

(Meanwhile, if you’d like to contribute to my crowdfunding effort, please visit www.patreon.com/dreamintochange)