From a young age, it was anchored in me that winter, seasonally, is a wonderful time to plant new dreams and take stock of the year before. “New Years Resolutions” are one aspirational tradition that many are familiar with, but for most of us these are vague commitments that don’t hold strong by the end of January. I firmly believe that new habits must be enjoyable and feel good for you if they are going to stick – and often these resolutions are to do less of things we enjoy and to do more of things we don’t enjoy. No wonder so many people are ditching resolutions in 2023!
I am grateful that I grew up with the family I have, in an environment where inner work, dreamtime, core values, goals, and connection to spirit were such a natural part of my upbringing. I was gifted with many tools for personal growth through living at our retreat centre, and hold so much gratitude for the leaders I’ve been surrounded by who have steered me towards introspection and following my truth. It’s that time of year that I’m excited to once again share a special Edgy tradition with you!
My family, and the Edge family, has a wonderful tradition that we enjoy every year in place of resolutions. We take stock of the year that has passed – expressing gratitude, releasing what it no longer serving us, creating; identifying, and committing to new dreams and identifying the first action steps that will help us achieve them. You can download this full activity below.
A perfect time to dream
The strangest time of any year is that liminal corridor in between Christmas and New Years. We joke that it’s a time of being “unmotivated, full of chocolate, and unsure what day it is”, but in a year where this is already so familiar, I wonder if our approach this year might feel a little bit different.
I find this corridor is the best time for me to pull out my journal, pour myself some tea, light a candle, and dream. You can do this activity at any time – winter, summer, rain or shine – but I believe there is a special kind of momentum that you can get from this particular time of year.
Origins of Dare to Dream:
In its original form, Dare to Dream was a page out of a workshop and workbook created by my grandma, Linda Iler, themed around positive motivational commentary. She presented this material to two groups in workshop settings, after which participants completed their personal survey as a take-home.
Grandma Linda refers to this as “Not so much a New Year’s resolution thing, but a checklist of items to give deep thought to about how you might like your ideal life to look…”
Some elements may have been inspired by an earlier Mastermind workshop. As she remembers, “In [Mastermind], we learned that if there is something you want in your life, you have to give thought to what it is, how you would like it to look, and name an action that you would need to take to move closer toward your vision. [At each meeting], each of us would go through our list of items we had [previously] identified, and be accountable for what we had done to change things more into the direction of how we wanted it to be.”
“All of these groups were about finding areas of our lives where we were not happy or knew we might be off track. It was not being in groups to complain about things, but teaching ourselves to have conscious awareness about our personal power and identifying and taking steps to make things better. In these circles, I always felt that everyone was in total personal integrity, transparency, and trust which went both ways.”
Linda introduced the same material to family and friends, where it became a tradition. Later, Martha adapted the Dare to Dream exercise to share with retreat participants – and over the course of many years it underwent small evolutions and refreshes as our team made it our own, including a renaming to Living Our Dreams.
Letting the magic happen
From a young age, I was invited to participate in Dare to Dream, at whatever level I was at. While I no longer have the drawings and scribbles from childhood, or the musings of my teenaged years, I do have a dedicated journal with a collection of my yearly gratitude, releases, dreams, and goals from my young adulthood to today.
It is remarkable to revisit the year before and see just how much was accomplished that you really wished for. Even if you don’t know how or when – writing down your dreams somehow sets things into motion (though you’ll still need to engage your hard work, good habits, and a touch of risk-taking).
Living Our Dreams makes a great activity for couples or family units to engage in together. As Grandma Linda shares, “Usually we have the answers within ourselves, but often it takes someone else nudging us forward and helping us to excavate to bring the important things to light where we can look at them and make decisions that align with our best interests.” This in fact was a regular practice of my parents Martha and Todd which contributed a great deal to the dream of the Edge – so take it from us that dream-work works.
Where to go from here?
We hope you give Living Our Dreams a try, and that it resonates. Perhaps it might become a new tradition for you and your family.
If you’d like to spend a little more time dreaming, connecting inward, and anchoring in ceremony, a Heart Foundations retreat might be the perfect place to do so in community with others! Heart Flame runs Feb 2 – 5.
If you have big or little dreams for the year ahead and you would like some support, we are here for you. The Habit Reset is all about goal-setting and anchoring into habits that will help us support those goals. Together we will be creating and evolving personal systems to keep ourselves accountable. You are invited to join us this March 2 – 5.