When I met with Ozioma in February of 2017 to discuss the possibility of becoming the Dream Effect fellow for April, I was lost. I was in the midst of an intense transformation. As a new Mother I was trying to figure out who I was, and who I could be to best serve myself and therefore, my daughter. I had worked for a few years in an artist collaborative group, I had traveled and met other creatives, I had learned skills and gained experience in my career as an artist, designer, fabrication specialist, and event supervisor. I was asking myself, "What do I do now? How do I utilize my abilities, experience and talent to support my family financially while also feeding my soul?". I was not sure that it was even possible do to both, to do work that made me happy WHILE supporting my financial needs. I was just barely reaching a point where I had the confidence to believe in the dream.
What I needed in that moment was support and resources. I had attended Ozioma's "MasterPlan Mastermind" online course and "MasterPlan Method" workshop in January, which helped me first identify what my ultimate goals/dreams were in the first place and begin to articulate possible routes to achieve those aspirations. The Dream Effect Fellowship gave me the opportunity to put those ideas into action by providing a venue, technical resources, promotion, and most importantly, SUPPORT in the form of coaching, the exchange of business strategy concepts, and encouragement from the Dream Center team.
I designed and implemented three workships and two community events for the month of April 2017. You can read more about them [here]. The process of actively designing the programming was transformational in and of itself. Over the years I have had many lucrative ideas that never left the confines of my brain/notebooks where they would exist only as thoughts or scibbles on a page. The act of putting those ideas down on paper and thoroughly planning them to the last detail was exhilerating, giving me the first taste of accomplishment that would inspire me to passionately continue with the determinaion and perserverence required to see ANY creative projects come to fruition.
I could not have predicted the effect implementing the programming I had designed would have on me. On an individual level, watching my dreams materialize before my eyes after months of planning, design, building, and acquiring materials, was invaluable. My sense of confidence and belief in myself, my sense my self worth, which had always been an internal struggle, not only grew, but grew stronger and wiser. I saw that my ideas worked, I saw where they could be revised, and I saw how they affected other people. The most valuable experience in this whole process was in watching the way the attendees recieved the programming. I watched the individuals who attended the various events and workshops get inspired, explore their creative selves, and learn new skills. Beyond my own personal desire to express myself, beyond material gain, I learned that what I really love doing, what really matters, is serving others. If I can teach a person something new to enrich their life, if I can help someone even just to get a glimpse of their inherent potential, if I can make someone feel like they are being listened to and supported, if I can inspire someone to chase their own goals, I have found the truest success.
There had been so much confusion in my life in regards to how to balance personal development and giving. I was always asking myself if I was doing enough, and how to give back. The Dream Effect Fellowship showed me that if you can dream, you can make it happen. The Dream Effect Fellowship showed me that if you do the work to develop yourself, your aspirations, your abilities, and your business, it has a ripple effect. Your community, the people you encounter; your friends, your family, and the people you interact with in your work, are intrinsically effected by your upward trajectory, whether by a passing conversation, a distant witnessing, or a direct act of teaching, coaching, and passing on information and hope.
Just think for a moment. If we all took the time to dream, did the work to develop those dreams, and supported each other as those dreams were implemented, what would our communities and ultimately our world look like? What would there be to learn? How nourished would our souls be? The team of the Dream Center asks those questions, and works to answer them.
After my Dream Effect Fellowship, I continue to do the work. I continue to teach the workshops I designed and implemented at the Dream Center at various locations across the Hudson Valley, and soon enough, beyond. I continue to design and implement creative programming as an individual and with other creative collective institutions. I do this work with a greater sense of self confidence, with a more organized, grounded, and effective methodology. I do this work with a better understanding, acceptance, and love of who I am and how I work individually and within the collective. The Dream Effect Fellowship and the Dream Center inspired me, supported me, and taught me. As a result of my time working in around the Dream Center, I am better able to serve myself, my family, and my community.