The gift economy is an alternative way to connect with community in mind. Though it may be new to you at the time of reading this post, it is one of the oldest forms of “commerce” and likely something you engage in already without even knowing about it.
Let’s say your friend takes a Saturday off to help you clean out your gutters. She has offered her time and energy to you because of your connection with each other. There is no exchange implied or agreed upon.
After y’all are done with the gutters you likely feel a lot of gratitude toward your friend. To express that gratitude you may offer to take her out to dinner or come over to her place the following weekend to help with the tree house she is building. She is delighted to receive your offering of gratitude.
That is the gift economy.
It is heart-centered and gratitude-based.
It mirrors obligation but not in the sense we often think about. For example, I am obligated to pay my taxes. There are laws around it and specific consequences if I don’t.
In the gift economy the obligation is to the community and the highest good of its members. If you were within a village and only ever took without offering anything in return, there would also be consequences but of a social nature. The community would suffer because of you, and you wouldn’t be super welcome in that community.
Can you dig it?
I offer everything here to you as a gift from a place of love and abundance. It is my hope that you will come here to gain wisdom, support and connection for your highest good. If your time here (reading articles, watching videos, doing a session, taking a course, etc.) is beneficial, and you’d like to express your gratitude with a gift, I would be honored.
Many people are accustomed to using money as a means of expression. That is certainly an appropriate gift here if it is within your means to offer it. There is no “right” or “wrong” amount. Simply check in with your heart and offer what feels right. All monetary gifts are put towards the continuation and expansion of this work. I can’t do it without you, and we wouldn’t want to!
It is possible that money is not a resource you have the means to offer, but you’d still like to express gratitude with a gift. Though I need money to do all of this, of course, I know it is not the only valuable resource. I encourage you to get creative - reflect on what you do have in abundance and let me know about it! This is lovely and also appropriate. You can also check out some ideas for alternative gifts here.
It is said that spiritual law and marketing law cannot co-exist.
In today’s world, that is becoming increasingly true. We are bombarded constantly with sales, offers and covert marketing strategies all trying to get into our wallets (sometimes by any means necessary).
If I were to operate this way - me as the seller-of-stuff and you the disconnected consumer - we wouldn’t be able to exist as a true community. There would be roles and hierarchies in place that aren’t conducive to a safe space of love, support and celebrated badassery.
For this reason I rely on the gift economy to ensure the needs of all are met lovingly and openly.
Would you really feel comfortable simply offering your friend a thumbs up after she’s helped clean out your gutters?
Neither would I :-)
What I share here was not magically given to me nor born in me. I have crossed vast proverbial distances to arrive here as I am today; many of the paths took me into some of the darkest, scariest places imaginable. Sometimes I walked through them with my head held high - other times I clawed my way through.
I have dedicated my life to this work, and I know part of that mission is to share what I have gained, but I can only do that if I have your support in it. I want for you your highest good, your happiest life, and am honored if my experiences can lift you up in any way.
I offer all that I’ve gained from my greatest triumphs to my most embarrassing face-plants. This is my gift to you. May it help you on your path wherever you are today.
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