building new castles every day

I do it for the stories

In Doings, Learnings on July 2, 2013 at 8:37 AM


For the last nine months, I have been organizing, wrangling, negotiating, pitching, designing, coding and sharing my passion project, Community Catalysts.

It’s a retreat series for everyday changemakers. And it’s the most rewarding work of my career so far.

Community Catalysts was created as an antidote to the negative effects of our reality. Modern realities like nature deficit, urban isolation and creative withdrawal.

These realities get me stuck. And I believe they get my community stuck, too.

My friends and colleagues, Jeff Willis and Janey Chang, felt the same way. Sure, we were inspired by the people and ideas of Vancouver’s typical networking events, professional development conferences and TED-like talks. But we were starving to learn actionable knowledge.

Plus, we wanted a time and place to share these tools, tricks and techniques while making immediate positive change in our everyday lives. We didn’t want to get together and moan anymore. We wanted to take all that inspiration and make something of it with our own hands.

And what better place to do all this, we thought, than amongst the most humbling of teachers — Mother Nature.

In August, 2012, we took stock of what tools and techniques we each had. Jeff runs a beautiful nature sanctuary in Howe Sound known as Camp FircomJaney had a thematic vision to guide our hands-on learning. And I love communicating and connecting all of the above.

jeff_bw_circle  Janey Chang_circle   jocelyn_bw_circle

In April 2013, we offered our first retreat, Sacred Earth.

There, amongst the Pacific ocean and Alder trees, 40 ‘changemakers’ shared their fun, creative and tangible knowledge through hands-on experiences. We learned about mentoring, art therapy, courage, adversity, ceremony, self-care, entrepreneurship, and probiotic fermentation. Facilitators got participants using their tools and resources immediately, and participants got facilitators thinking bigger and listening harder.

We had no expectations of this retreat. We were just bringing a dream to fruition and hoped others shared it.

Turns out, others did share our dream. And they’ve continued to share it since returning to the city.

Since April, we’ve seen our 40 retreat attendees turn first encounters into monthly potlucks, strangers into friendships, friendships into business partnerships, work into passion, ideas into projects, and (my favourite impact) curious participation into workshop facilitation at our next retreat this July.

This residual, positive impact is what gets me unstuck. And they’re the stories of everyday change I will share on this blog throughout the rest of 2013 and into 2014.

Want to hear these stories firsthand? Want to experience this everyday change for yourself? Then you must join us for our next retreat, Living Wellness, July 12-14. Email me for personal Q&A: infoATcommunitycatalystsDOTca

weekend agenda 2

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