Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Guest Post: Rachelle Mee-Chapman: How to Build a Dreamboard Circle

This weekend, I hosted my first live Full Moon Dreamboard Circle and it was an amazing experience. There is a hunger out there to create and share in community. I know many of you are aching to participate in a live circle and of course I would love for you to join me here in Toronto, and if that's not feasible I really want to encourage you to start one of your own. My dear friend Rachelle, a soul-filled encourager and dreamboard advocate, is on this mission too. She has generously offered to share her instructions on how to create your own Dreamboard Circle. I hope it inspires you to give it a go. Here's to dreaming together, Jamie.

How to Build a Dreamboard Circle
by Rachelle Mee-Chapman


a dreamboard made of wallpaper samples, wrapping paper, and magazine letters.

The tea lights ring the room and ambient trip-hop spills from the speakers. There are seven of us around the table ranging in age from fifty to five. We've chatted a bit and filled our mugs. Now it's time for cardstock and magazines, glues sticks and scissors. It's the Full Moon. It's time to Dreamboard.

A Dreamboard circle is one of the simplest Soultribes to form. It doesn't require complicated leadership, and the supplies and techniques are very basic. You can form one easily with these simple steps...

Dreamboards are sometimes linked to the Full Moon. I find it's hard for a group to strictly follow the full moon, since she falls on a different day of the week each month. So you might want to pick a set day (i.e. Third Thursdays) and make your boards together then, and just present them at home to the next full moon when she next arrives. It takes about 2 hours for a group to make and share their Dreamboards.

Invite a group of people to come and Dreamboard with you. Explain that Dreamboards are a simple collage to help us achieve our hopes and dreams by making them more tangible. Dreamboarding also helps us live more intentionally, and hold on to the important in the face of the urgent. (For more information on Dreamboards here's an interview with a Dreamboard founder, Suzie Ridler.)

Reassure people that they don't need to be artists to make a Dreamboard! It's just collage - like in grade school! (It helps to include a simple example in your invite.)Don't start with too big of a circle. I find 4-8 guests to be a good size, since you need plenty of room around the table for art supplies and elbows!

Who to invite? The lady in the carpool line with the bumper sticker you like. The person who's always writing in their journal at the coffee shop while you write in yours. The teenage babysitter you chat about life with before you take her home. The woman who sit next to you in yoga. I bet if you think about it, you have plenty of candidates!

Supplies can vary but this is my Short List:
  • cardstock for the "board" part (plain or colored)
  • magazines (design magazines like Dwell are great)
  • scissors (a pair for everyone)
  • glue sticks
  • sharpies or other markers
And here is my Long List:
Inviting people to contribute to the supply bin helps form a common ownership amongst the group. Once people see what you can use, they will probably be eager to bring their "finds" from art supply stores, card shops, and their own craft cupboards.

Set Your Intention
I like to begin our circle by introducing the theme of the upcoming Full Moon. There are a lot of different names for each full moon, and you can find some of their meanings here. You can align yourself with seasonal energies by connecting your images on the Dreamboard to the themes held in that month's moon. For instance Spring moons carry themes about softening soil and new beginnings, while Fall moons have harvest and abundance motifs connected to them. Of course, people can also make something unrelated to the moon that is timely for them.

Begin your dreaming time by helping people get centered. Something as simple as asking people to sit comfortable and take three deep breaths can still the room and settle your souls. Then invite people to start ripping pages out of magazines, snipping things out of colored paper, and pasting away.

Direct Newbies
Even though collage is very accessible, many people experience some anxiety when they first start making Dreamboards. Some things I've found helpful for new folks are to suggest that they work with a theme.
  • Color Themes: What color represents what they are dream of this month? Orange sunny energy? Cool blue comfort? Suggest that they pull images from magazines that are in those colors. They can decide later which ones to use and how to use them.

  • Image Themes: Another way to narrow things down is to work on an image theme. For instance, one friend works a lot with water images, and she'll often start her board by just tearing water pictures from magazines.

  • Word Themes: For people who are less pictorial and more verbal, working with a certain word or set of words can help. Clipping a word ransom-note style from a magazine like "LOVE" or "JOY" and be a good central image to work around.
It's also helpful to put out a big manila envelope. Use this to stash the bit people ripped out and decided not to use. Knowing there's a place to keep these extra bits really helps people get over their fear of "wasting" a good image.

Share a Little
When people's boards seem to be filling up, ask if anyone would like to share what their board is about. It's important that you introduce this as an optional part of the circle. (Although in my experience most people choose to participate in this.) Then wish each other "Sweet Dreams," take your Dreamboards home, and let them manifest good things into your month!

One More Thing
Once you get to month two into your Dreamboard Circle, you can start the gathering off by asking if anyone wants to share their experience with their last Dreamboard.

It's always interesting to hear where people put them and how they interact with the boards over the course of a month. Sometimes the boards really "sing" and other times they seem dormant. I've had immediate results with my boards, and other times it's been six months before I've looked back on an old Dreamboard and realized "Ah ha! That's what that meant!" For instance, I made a Dreamboard I titled "I was meant for the stage." I thought it was about my desire to play and sing in front of an audience. But now I realize that my stage is the web and my mic is for podcasting. (Although I am still taking the guitar lessons I started when I made the board, just in case!)

And don't forget, if you blog or use a site like Flickr, you can share you Dreamboard with other dreamers by adding your link to Jamie's list each month over at Starshyne Productions. It's a lovely way to get and share inspiration with each other. Enjoy your Dreamboarding...and may your circle come to you soon!

Rachelle Mee-Chapman is an alt.minister, writer and mother to several. You can find her writing about Soultribes, Dreamboards and other spiritual practices at Magpie Girl. She hopes to be back soon with fun techniques you can use to expand your Dreamboard repertoire (gel transfers anyone?) Follow her on Twitter or Facebook to get notice of the next installment. Thanks for being here!


Heather Plett said...

I have used dreamboard circles as a way of leading teams in new directions. It's fun to get all of your staff (and you) spread out on the floor with scissors and glue - kinda flattens the hierarchy in a fun way.

Nolwenn said...

Thanks a lot for this article !!

Melba said...

a great post...

I would love to create a dreamboard circle, but I still am at a loss about where to find like spirited souls.

I have approached the subject with a few of the mom friends I have, but they all look at me like I have three heads.

I would love to hear from other women who have participated in a dreamboard circle...how did your group come together?

KnittingJourneyman said...

This is terrific information-thank you so much ...
now-to set out putting one together around here....

Rachelle Mee-Chapman said...

I know it can be hard to find souls. I have this blog and so people read it, and "get" me, and then trust me when I float some odd-bob idea past them. But if I didn't have that, I might be hard pressed to find the peoples too.

Let's brainstorm...

It is a bit hard to explain the dreamboarding idea to people at first. Maybe just invite people to a crafting day or a collage party and have it be the craft of the day. Then follow up with people as the month goes on and see if they are clicking with the concept...?

Or what about making one and sending it as an email attachment to some friends. If you did one around an inspiring word like "Dream" or "Hope" - you could scan it, print it, and give it as a gift. This would open up a conversation and provide a concrete example.

Anyone else have ideas for how to find the folks.

Jamie said...

There's a great longing out there to find our people, what Rachelle calls our Soultribe.

I'll write more about finding people for your dreamboard circle next week too. They are out there :)

LMA said...

Thanks for sharing! I wondered how it was done when I read Jamie's other posts.