I’m thrilled when a new piece of art, particularly a spirit-based piece, enters my life.
I’m thrilled when a new heart connection is made and in that moment I know a friendship will unfold.
I’m thrilled when I’m introduced to a new paradigm that really makes me think and wonder and think some more.
Remember show-and-tell at school when you were little? Did you have those? I confess they weren’t my favorite experiences, and I often suspect they were a mitigating factor in the early development of my being-the-focused-point-of-attention-standing-in-front-of-a-group phobia that I struggle with even today. But I so LOVE the concept of being so squirmy-excited you can’t wait to tell about a heart treasure. That’s how I feel today, and so let’s have my version of show-and-tell.
A short while ago I received a lovely little email message from a woman who happens to be a member of a couple of on-line communities I belong to. If I remember correctly she had seen some link party posting I had done someplace and kinda-sorta recognized my name from our mutual community membership and so she dropped me a note. (With an interesting proposal by the way, but I’ll save that for another time.)
I popped over to her website, and oh my, the magic began.
Let me introduce you to Cynthia Lee of Spirit Uncaged. She is many, many things, but let’s start with artist and innovator.
When I peeked at her portfolio there was a piece of art that absolutely captivated me. Instant connection. Instant recognition. It was one of those oh-isn’t-spirit-amazing-directing-me-here-to-find-this! moments where you get all tingly. I knew the piece was meant to be come be part of my life. And so it has.
Let me introduce you to Aberash.
Now for the second part of the story. I didn’t just whip out my credit card or click a paypal button or do any of the normal things you might expect to bring Aberash into my world. No, Cynthia Lee, is practicing a new form of economic practice she’s named Spirit Kinship Economy. While you definitely should head over to her site and read what she has to say about this practice, I want to tell to you about my experience with it.
Cynthia Lee has chosen to release her work not with a fixed price, but rather with an invitation to enter into a dialog with her. To discuss how the piece you’d like speaks to you. To find out what the piece means to her. To take some time to enter a dialog with your own wise knowing and make a feels-right-for-both-of-us offer. To see what unfolds from there.
Isn’t that delicious?
And it demands stretching beyond conventional comfort zones. It demands examining the question – what is this worth to me? What are my values? It requires a little leap of faith – no one wants to look like an idiot or make an insulting offer, so you have to trust the entire interaction is surrounded in a container of love and curiosity and more love. It requires trusting yourself – to make a feels-good-for-all offer; to know your own boundaries; to be willing to step on the dance floor even if you’re clueless about the steps. It invites connection, dialog, a sense of freshness, an openness for something magical to be planted even if it turns out the transaction doesn’t ultimately occur.
I made an offer that felt juicy and wonderful to me – a combination of money and a creation of my own made for her. It felt respectful of her gifts and offered the possibility of something that might delight her. And that felt good. But I entered in the spirit of dialog. If my offer didn’t sound delicious to her, I was willing to entertain the possibility that another could be made, or perhaps I would think again and decide that wasn’t what I wanted to do.
I’m delighted to have accepted Cynthia Lee’s invitation to play. Not only because I now have a piece of art I love and feel blessed by, but also because it is such a huge invitation to think about what energy exchanges feel delicious to me, and how I would like to see things change as we navigate these times. It felt like it opened up room to explore, to expand, to define boundaries, to try something new, and to honor the innovative practices someone else is exploring.
It also gave me an opportunity to look at the places this rubs me, and what that might say about me.
I do believe we’re moving into new economies and the way is open to find practices that delight us. I think everyone, EVERYONE, deserves to live an abundant life filled with prosperity and joy and the things that make them feel deliciously secure. And that’s different for everyone.
I also admit I have some reservations about this. I want Cynthia Lee, and every artist, (and every teacher, caregiver, healer, and grower of any kind especially) to be honored and paid not only fairly but abundantly. And no one should settle for receiving less than they’re worth. No undervaluing yourself allowed. Period. And so while I think this model may work for Cynthia Lee, and for a growing group of players with clear boundaries and an openness to explore, I’m not entirely convinced this model is ready for wide-spread implementation. I think we need a whole lot more societal shifts before that can happen. And a great deal of introspection individually about self- and other- value. A topic which is fraught with challenges.
In my utopian view of things we actually need to clear the field. Everyone starts over. Nobody makes more than 10% more than anyone else, and we all do what we love, with our hearts filled and our feet on the joy path. That sounds perfect and right to me.
But in the meantime I praise the efforts of Cynthia Lee for looking for new ways, for searching out new ways to exchange energy that feels uplifting and satisfying and delicious. Yay to the pathfinders, the innovators, the Wayshowers, the brilliant ones like Cynthia Lee who take those leaps forward and invite us to play as well.
And great thanks to Cynthia Lee the artist for creating a piece of art that speaks so deeply to me. I encourage you to check her out.
For today’s card in the ICAD challenge, I’ve done another altered selfie. I’ve just taken a course in Photoshop and am playing around. Since I often identify with my mailart moniker of Lunar Daughter, I thought today I’d turn myself into Solar Sister. It delights me that this turned out like a huge dark solar spot with some solar flare action.
So what’s going on with you? Feeling solar or lunar today? What are your thoughts about Spirit Kinship Economy? Do you participate in any alternate economic initiatives? Are you making sure you receive what is yours to receive?
What a wonderful concept! I am thinking of doing something similar with a piece I just created that I enjoyed creating but don’t personally want to keep. I wasn’t sure how to word it so I’ll head to Cynthia’s site and see what she has to say about Spirit Kinship Economy. Hmm. 🙂
It IS a wonderful concept isn’t it?
Ooooooh I adore all you have to say about Cynthia and can’t wait to go introduce myself… right after I having my fill of your yummy blog! It is very thought provoking and I’m really enjoying letting my thoughts stew with yours while I sip on my morning coffee!
Thanks for stopping by the other day! I appreciated the kind words.
I’m so glad you stopped by and got a hedz up about Cynthia Lee. And thanks for the kind words!
Thank you so much Deborah!
Thank you for your kind words, for participating in this kinship exchange, for being a friend and teacher as well. Glorious light and love awaits the chance to be divided and multiplied, folded inward and flung outward, shared with with bursts of fireworks. This has been that type of chance, that type of opportunity.
It has been, is a joy beyond measure.
Most of all, I have gained a treasured friendship.
What pure delight to connect with you and accept your beautiful invitation. I truly feel blessed Cynthia Lee.
Reading back over your post and now writing my own post, I was really struck by how vulnerable this can feel for those responding to the invitation. Thank you again for expressing so eloquently, so graciously, your perspective.
Yes, while I think that’s true, it feels like such a delicious doorway into exploration.
I just read Cynthia’s post about this and followed her link to here, and am about to write a similar post myself, having just done a very similar exchange with a friend along the same lines. It’s an idea that I find fascinating and definitely worth exploring, and I hadn’t considered your points about how it may not yet work for everyone, although to me it makes perfect sense and feels so amazing to do I wonder why it’s not already more widespread! I will link to here if that’s alright when I do write my post.
Fabulous Tara – I can’t wait to read about your experience! I agree it is amazing and it would be lovely to see it spread widely. But I believe it requires integrity and openness for both parties playing, to be able to define what feels win-win and to be able to let it go with grace and nonjudgment if the proposal doesn’t suit both players. I think doing with a friend might make it easier because you have a sense of each other’s values; on the other hand it can complicate it if the offer doesn’t feel delightful to the receiver, but she doesn’t feel comfortable saying so to a friend. But still, I love the idea and really look forward to hearing how others are practicing it.
I completely agree; it would seem that there would need to be some kind of connection and understanding in order for it to be a reciprocally fulfilling experience. I can certainly think of at least one dear friend who just wouldn’t get it and would likely make it into something ‘owing’ and be concerned that her contribution wasn’t enough, which is exactly not the point, so it would need to be carefully considered. Perhaps some people are just more comfortable with ‘this is what it looks like and this is what it costs’.
Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. 🙂
Yeah Tara I agree with what you’re saying. Which makes it all the more interesting and challenging I think to find ways to make this a viable way to operate widely in the world. It’s a brilliant heart-opened way to do business, but it requires people willing to play this way.
As promised, here’s the link to my post about my experience of and ideas about ‘spirit kinship economy’. http://taraleaver.com/2013/07/a-different-way-of-doing-things/
Turns out I had quite a lot to say! 🙂
Lovely thoughtful post Tara! Thanks for popping back here and leaving the link.