Dream Into Change

is creating emotional and strategic support for our collective dreams

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About

I'll get right to it: our global community is at a crisis point at this moment, with economic, political, and social injustices leading to unrest brewing and exploding all over the United States and in many other parts of the world. Meanwhile, our physical environment is in crisis, with climate change threatening to wreak increasing havoc on our human (and animal and plant) homes. Authoritarian regimes are rising at home and abroad, threatening to stamp out civil liberties, especially for vulnerable populations.

What we desperately need is vision. Leadership. Action. Hope. Inspiration. Things to work toward, not just against. Ideas and projects to unite us as human beings, not divide us. Projects to promote justice, equality, love, respect, healing for our planet, and to help us all celebrate the joys of being human during our brief time together in this world.

I want to be a part of bringing about all of this.

My name is Maren Souders, and I love supporting people in manifesting their dreams. Whether it is a personal dream for one's life, or a vision for how one can heal and inspire the whole world or some portion of it, I am here to listen and hold space for people's excitement, and to help them piece together a strategic plan for how to manifest the dream.

I have been offering emotional and strategic support for nearly ten years, in two primary ways, and now I have a new dream for myself, for how to expand. I am enthusiastically inviting you to help!

For about a decade, I have been supporting individual clients--mostly by phone--in hour-long empathy and/or strategy sessions. During these sessions I help the person to articulate their dream or vision, and then to identify ways to move toward it. We identify stumbling blocks (external and internal) as they arise, and we find ways forward. I have helped clients to write and publish books, establish nonprofit organizations, and the like.

I have also hosted free, in-person gatherings around the United States and Canada, called Dream Into Change Salons. In these gatherings, people share their dreams, ideas and projects in small groups. The participants energize and inspire each other, and share resources, such as people or groups to contact, websites or books to research, etc.

These ways of offering support have been incredibly rewarding to me and to the people I have worked with. Now, I have my own dream of how to expand it: I want to meet with people all around the country, and I want to do it by bike!

I have lived all 47 of my years so far without ever owning a motor vehicle. I do this mostly for environmental reasons, although this decision has also helped me to save money and maintain some physical fitness without going to a gym.

When pandemic restrictions lift enough to allow me to do so, I would like to embark upon a year-long bicycle trip around the United States. (I hope to include at least a few stops in Mexico and Canada as well.) I'm aiming for a year from now, September 2021, but remaining flexible.

My vision is that I will meander from my home in Portland, Oregon to southern California. My dream is to follow my own joy and bliss, stopping at beautiful spots such as the redwood forests, Yosemite National Park, and the California coast. Along the way, I envision staying in the homes of people who wish to participate in my vision, for probably two nights each in most cases. During my stay in each city or town, I would talk to my hosts, and possibly also their friends and community members, about their dreams. I would offer emotional and strategic support during these conversations, and I would also make notes about their dreams so that I could connect them with others I may already know, or others I may meet later in the journey. I would also blog about my travels and some of these conversations (with consent, of course) to help people's dreams to reach a broader audience and possible networking partners.

I envision biking with a trailer pulling my suitcase of travel possessions, and a sign on the back of the trailer reading "What is your dream?" so that passing motorists, even if we do not interact directly, can be prompted to think about that which they most wish to bring about for themselves and/or the greater good.

I love warm, dry weather. Portland has been my happy home for the past 30 years, but I admit the cold and rainy climate takes a toll on my mood for much of the year. My intention for this tour, therefore, would be to approximately circumnavigate the continental US, following the "good weather."  I would leave Portland in September, arrive in southern California probably in December, and then head across the Southwest and South in the winter, heading northeast in the spring, and then across eastern Canada and the northern US in the summer, ending up back in Portland probably in September again. 

This is a bold dream for me. It feels like the highest and best use of my skills, talents, and passions, both to optimize my own joy and wellbeing as well as to contribute the best of myself to the greater good. 

And, I'll be 50 in a little more than two years. This feels like an optimal time to do this.

I am asking for your help. For the past 17 years, I have held a "day job" in an office, which has covered my living expenses and a modest start at retirement savings. To take this trip, I would need to leave that job and its income and benefits. This would be a tremendous leap of faith for me; I have always valued a feeling of security. 

I am hoping that if folks support my mission, they will be moved to share $5 or $10 each month (or more, or less, depending on their own means) so that I can cover my expenses for food, healthcare/insurance, transportation expenses (probably including some train or bus travel to supplement the bike at times, as well as bike equipment and maintenance costs), utilities such as phone service and a storage locker rental in Portland, etc. 

There is another reason I am asking for crowdfunding support:  I have often felt awkward about the fee-for-service model of my professional support offerings for the past decade. Quite often, I wish to support people who may not be able to afford my hourly rate. I have also struggled with "marketing," and being able to find just the "right" clients who can afford my services and who would find them valuable. I know such people exist (in abundance!) but it has been a continual challenge for me to find them. I have often chosen to offer my services pro bono, or piecemeal, to folks I feel called to help. As a result, my income from this professional practice has been minimal. What I would really prefer is to crowdsource my income, so that I could offer my services pro bono (or perhaps by donation) to anyone with whom I am mutually excited to work, for short or long periods. 

Although it is not logistically feasible to jump on my bike just yet, I wanted to launch this Patreon now, and ask you to support my vision. If I can build enough financial support here in the coming year, and if the pandemic shifts such that I can feasibly stay in people's homes, then I will be in good shape to get going at that time.

In the meantime, I can blog about my "journey before the journey." I have many forms of preparation to do, including taking shorter "practice" bike rides; finding a trailer and practicing riding with it; interviewing folks who have taken long bike trips; and doing various internal work to get myself physically and emotionally prepared for such a momentous journey. 

I can also continue supporting people in their dreams remotely, by phone or video chat, and begin blogging about some of people's ideas, to get readers' minds and hearts excited and inspired before I physically set out.

Will you join me? I would be honored if you would sign up with a pledge. I hope you will travel along my journey with me. May all of our dreams come true!

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