One of the perks of re-visioning my website, is that I have the opportunity to get even more clear about the behind the scenes structures that support my offerings, and to take a stand when it comes to living a fuller more vibrant expression of the culture I want to be part of birthing.
As I move more and more into the offering of private and group ceremony, it is clear that old models of valuing time and energy based on a market rate monetary value just don’t cut it.
Moreover, when it comes to these offerings of spirit where I’m asked to facilitate more as a priestess and less as a “healing arts practitioner”, I must wait for the invitation. If someone asks, the answer is Yes, and because of the service to Love that such a commitment implies, I cannot ask for a “fee” in the same way. I offer without expectation and in service. And, I open the channels to be supported in return.
I’m positing this exploration of the “Gift Economy” now in the hopes of generating some discussion and feed back before I make it live as a permanent part of my web page. I’d love to hear what you think, any suggestions, and any places that shine or need some more polishing. So much love!
On Giving and Receiving: The Gift Economy and Laughing Tree Space.
Many of the offerings provided by Laughing Space, including ceremonies and women’s circles, are modeled on the growing movement of the “Gift Economy.” This form of exchange marks radical return to a culture of building relationship, nourishing each other and the community through giving and receiving.
In “Gift Economy” gifts of time, talent, and skill are shared freely. These offerings are not “free” (ie a market value of $0) rather they are gifts freely given with no strings attached. Laughing Tree Space prays that you will be fed and nourished by participating and that you will feel moved to keep the energy flowing in a dance of receiving and giving back. This flow of relationship is what makes the whole economy work.
Participating in the Gift Economy could mean that you come early or stay late to help with setup or cleanup. You might bring materials (like fire wood to the fire or food for the potluck) or offer one of your gifts or skills (there are always projects!) to support an event or nourish Sulis. You might also take the energy of what you receive and move it forward offering your own gift of time and energy somewhere else in the future. Sometimes, giving back looks like a financial contribution for the facilitator (Sulis) which will be gratefully received. To help determine an appropriate monetary exchange, Sulis will be happy to share the amount of time, labor, and energy involved in a particular offering and invites your questions and reflections.
Thank you for the gift of you!
Here is a PDF from the New Hope Catholic Worker that describes how their community participates in the Gift Economy: Gift Economy at New Hope