Three years ago, I started to open some groups and private sessions for a “conscious and open” monetary contribution.
With this article, I would like to clarify what it means to me. I’ve never really taken the time for this and I find it too easy to put a denomination without having to dig behind my deeper values.
At the same time, I also think I needed to experience it first before writing about it.
At the beginning, it was for two main reasons :
- Faith in a world with more solidarity, where helping hands and generosity are pushed to the forefront.
- I’ve realized it was difficult for me to measure time and give a price value on what I was offering (and it is still the case). I don’t really know what the real impact of the time I dedicate to someone (in an official workshop or in a more informal way). I consider that only the person knows.
Today, I realize this freedom to choose can be scary, it can even hold the person back because doubts can appear. The person can think : “ If I don’t give enough, what would she think ? If I give more, does it flatter my ego thinking I am superior or with more rights than others ? With this contribution amount, would I feel indebted or would she owe me something ? ”
Yes, freedom goes with responsibility, a way to act which requires more awareness and not only automatisms or standards instilled by society. It requires to get out of the norms and to really ask yourself about the value you give to the time the person is offering.
At the beginning, it is probably a little bit heavier to handle, but as you get used to it, things will get lighter and more fluent, because you will learn to ask yourself the right questions : “What do I want to do/give? What can I do/give ? And from which place in my heart do I do/give ?”
When you contribute with a value that feels “right”, you feel aligned with yourself. And this right value, you are the only one to know it.
Whatever the financial resources, I think it is important that each and every one could attend the sessions. We don’t have the same relation to money, we don’t have the same story, we don’t have the same financial resources. For these reasons, I think a wholehearted contribution is already a teaching in itself.
And as Uncle Fish Master often reminds me, the value of something can’t be evaluated according to the amount of money someone gives but on the real cost for the person. On one hand, you can give not much and it’s a lot because you have nothing. On the other hand, you can give a lot and it’s not much because you have a lot.
Today, I can see how this way to consider exchanges had a wider impact than I was thinking.
To me, this way to learn to receive arms wide open and at the same time, to be able to give back with this rightful heart, allows me to face my own preconceptions and to work on my conditionings. Thus, I can see the barriers I’ve put myself on my path and each time I haven’t done it right, I can realign myself so that all these automatic thoughts modes can change step by step.
It is what we’re learning by practicing meditation. Knowing how to observe without judging oneself (therefore without judging others). And it is important to acknowledge where I am. Like when you’re doing a health checkup or a professional annual assessment. Except that in this case, it is a daily self-checkup, the progress can then go faster.
For people who are attending “conscious and open” contribution sessions (and I include myself in it), the one who is receiving clearly sees if there is a dissonance in oneself or in the other. And it’s all ok as long as you are conscious of it.
Some people are willing to contribute, but forget. Others don’t bother to remember and leave it behind. Others, already having difficulties to receive, cannot cope with giving not much, and either give with discomfort or finally decide not to join the session. Others could give more but remain in the standard fares, others don’t bother to ask themselves questions and give regarding the norms, and others do really feel align with the choices they made.
I think it is important not to miss this opportunity to evolve and from the start, to make the effort to ask oneself the right questions (see above).
If I have this consciousness, then I’m evolving and I help the world to evolve. Freedom goes with responsibility, therefore I am taking back my decision-making power. With my own daily choices, I’m already building my dreaming world.
As far as I know, for the moment, only few people are taking risks for what is really valuable to them. Well, not when they are in a comfortable zone. I think it is actually when we are in this comfortable space (where things are nearly good) that it is important to “pause” and to ask ourselves the right questions.
In any cases, I am convinced that generosity, open heart and authentic support are always beneficial, for the one who gives as well as for the one who receives.
We can then remind ourselves that when we give or receive with consciousness and from the heart, we are also helping others, supporting and allowing sustainable activities/services/products which are meaningful for us, and above all, we’re spreading this way to contribute.
I was also inspired to write this article to support this approach that other professionals are adopting more and more. It’s a real choice made with consciousness whatever the public feedback.
I’d like everyone to realize that this “conscious and open” contribution is a real gift from the heart for all the ones who are offering it, and sometimes it is very risky.
I also would like to thank all the people who are playing the game and keep on this way for a more equitable world, a world connected with deep human values.