The gift economy represents a shift from consumption to contribution, transaction to trust, scarcity to abundance and isolation to community.”
This is an experiment I’ve been thinking about for a while. I feel vulnerable opening up to this new way of working, so please bear with me as I attempt to explain.
Working in the gift is about creating a different kind of relationship, one which acknowledges the incredible abundant and interconnected web of life to which we all belong.
Take the Cassowary, these incredible birds help maintain the diversity of the Australian rain forest by distributing the seeds of trees whose fruit is too large for other forest dwellers to eat and relocate. Without them some seeds would never germinate.
Wild salmon, another unsung hero, also help forests to thrive. A BBC film explains that “eighty percent of the nitrogen in the forest’s trees comes from the salmon. In other words, these ocean dwellers are crucial for the forest’s long-term survival.”
These relationships are repeated the world over. One gives to another, who gives to another and so on in a dance of mutuality and inter-being, from which we all benefit.
There is a wheel of gift operating within the cycle of life. The transactions are not based on monetary value but in mutuality and reciprocity. There is a silent recognition, a knowing about the interconnectedness of it all.
The Gift Economy
To work in the gift economy, as it’s called, is to recognise these relationships. Instead of placing a fiscal value on our work, we extend an invitation to drop into the feelings of gratitude and appreciation for what is received, and how it came into being.
We recognise that it is not a freebie, nor an opportunity to get away without paying or to get one over anyone. Instead it is an opportunity to acknowledge the chain of events which made this gift possible.
In terms of the workshops I offer, embedded within their gift lies a whole back story which enabled them to come into being. They emerge from all the time and effort I have put into developing my skills, experience and training, over many years.
In addition they grow out of my therapeutic coaching practice which incurs costs to maintain. Professional memberships fees, insurance, online platforms fees, supervision and CPD as well as on-going training all have to be covered, before I can even begin to contribute towards my own life expenses.
Appreciation is the highest form of prayer, for it acknowledges the presence of good wherever you shine the light of your thankful thoughts.
Booking a Workshop With Me
These are offered in this way to make them available to everyone no matter your economic situation. Those with capacity and abundance can gift, those with less can receive.
I do however ask for a non-refundable £5 donation to secure a place on a workshop.
After a workshop
You have a choice.
If this all feels too awkward and uncomfortable and you just want to know what to pay. Workshops of this type usually cost between £15 and £35 so please feel free to contribute something along that sliding scale.
For those of you who want to play with the gift idea. I invite you to really drop into what the workshop was worth to you. Connect with what gratitude and appreciation you feel for this opportunity. Then listen. What is the gift you wish to make in the world as a result?
- Do you wish to make a financial gift to support my work in the world and to contribute toward my life expenses?
- Would you prefer to gift in some other way?
- Perhaps you want to pass the gift on elsewhere in the world? Please do. Gift of your talents and skills, or gift where the need is greatest. I’d love to hear about what you do.
- Some of you may appreciate the gift but you do not have time, energy or financial resources to make a gift yourself at this time. That’s fine, sometimes we simply need to receive. I invite you allow yourself to do just that and book a spot on a workshop anyway.
Check this link for current workshops.
As our self care practice deepens we increase our capacity to gift of ourselves in the world, until then practice Radical Self Care to heal yourself first.