Early on in our meetings this was said by one of our younger and wiser members. Our group is the Generosity Circle and was inspired by Charles Eisenstein’s book Sacred Economics. Charles has practical solutions for how a greed and hoard supporting economy can grow into a much more beautiful exchange system.
What if money had negative interest, if it aged liked a loaf of bread? Instead of being set to gold, oil or soy, what if money was set to sacred needs: air, water, soil, life diversity? It would be in our interest to lend it, if we couldn’t slow it’s aging, to someone inspired and aware of the big picture. Slow natural returns would trump chopping down the forest and living off the interest.
What if, without money or barter, we gave and received gracefully? This is the seed around which our group came together. Each of us possesses abundance and has needs. Too often fitting into today’s economy is like fitting a round peg into a square hole. Abundance gets lost as we struggle to fit into compartmentalizing jobs. Needs get forgotten in our quest to accumulate “enough” to meet them. Sadly, sometimes we wake up to retirement not sure anymore of the dreams we put on hold. What if we were living our passion all along?!
At Generosity Circle we are one step closer to this vision! A small group of us get together weekly. We express our needs, think of ways to meet them, express what we have to give and show gratitude for any giving or receiving that has occurred. To flow gifts out into the community creates a vacuum that yearns to be filled. Just like breathing our exhale is followed by inhale. Genuine giving feeds our passion. We are living our purpose when we share our gifts and in doing so we focus more on our inner abundance. The gift gives back. New needs fill the vacuum left from giving which support more giving. It is a beautiful compounding process.
Giving comes easy to me. Receiving with gratitude is where I have difficulty.
Recently my wife and I visited a friend in Miami. He cooked us a delicious lunch and dinner. Even with all my Generosity Circle training I couldn’t graciously accept the meals. Of course I said “thank you!” many times but I couldn’t let go that I owed him one, soon. I butted in to pay for his beach pass, then bought him a bottle of alcohol and a chicken. I created a need in him instead of waiting for a genuine one. Accepting a gift isn’t a barter agreement. I had a hard time living in the abundance he gifted me. I didn’t want to seem stingy.
However, I now believe being insular, or being too independent, is worse! To have no needs is to have no connections to community, the food on which our passion survives! Giving reinforces our passion. Receiving, with gratitude and a belief in what comes around goes around, allows us to be supported by others’ passion, to connect! Giving and receiving promote a passion to connect with ourselves and each other!