I’m playing a new game for fun, and it involves golden tickets and the gift economy.
Here’s how it works.
There are five Golden Tickets, each with a unique serial number. Anyone who is in possession of a Golden Ticket can book a session with me in return for dāna.
Every time a Golden Ticket is used, I put a new one (different serial number) back into circulation. I’ll do this in a variety of ways – through posts or stories on Instagram, by shoulder tapping someone, or through my newsletter or online membership group.
Anyone who receives a Golden Ticket is welcome to use it, or pass it along.
What I don’t suggest is SITTING on it – because remember, there are only five in circulation at any one time, and a ticket has to be used for the next one to be released.
Practice dāna and either book a session, or pass it along.
What’s dāna and what’s it got to do with the Gift Economy?
Dāna is a Sanskrit word, it’s a virtue within the Buddhist and Tantrik teachings, and it refers to opening oneself up to freely give with generosity, and the benefits that accrue from this experience.
This is the essence of the gift economy – when we move from a place of abundance and we generously gift whatever we have, when it’s needed, for other people.
I’m practicing dāna by gifting sessions, via the Golden Tickets.
Clients who use a Golden Ticket are then invited to practice dāna by gifting whatever they’d like to in return for the session. Usually it will be money – whether $10, $100 or $1000. But sometimes it might be goods, or services.
Dāna really is a practice, because it often conflicts with our dominant western programming that insists that scarcity is the fundamental nature of life (it’s not), that we must fight to get ours, that we should ALWAYS get as MUCH as possible for as little as possible, and that accumulation is the name of the game.
Dāna operates from a fundamentally different worldview – one that says abundance is the nature of reality, we can trust that life will support us when we learn how to fully open to receive, that giving freely is its own reward and that being a conduit for wealth and resources is the name of the game.
When we’re invited to practice dāna it can make us feel awkward or uncomfortable. We can feel anxious about whether or not we’re gifting ‘enough’. This reveals the conditioning we have around money, abundance, generosity and giving.
The Gift Economy is a concept that Charles Eisenstein has written a fantastic book about called Sacred Economics. THAT’s the more beautiful world that I want to life in.
‘In a gift economy the more you give, the richer you are’Charles Eisenstein
Charles says that ‘Sacred Economics traces the history of money from ancient gift economies to modern capitalism, revealing how the money system has contributed to alienation, competition, and scarcity, destroyed community, and necessitated endless growth.’
Why am I running this Gift Economy experiment?
I love his work, and I want to live into the promise of Sacred Economics and the Gift Economy. I am passionate about doing sessions with people AND I trust that life supports me so I can offer those sessions via the gift economy, and know that I have enough, by using Golden Tickets (because they’re fun, tangible, and they look great. Love me a little glitter and gold!)
I’m curious about how to both use the best of the capitalist system AND also operate from a gifting worldview. We are SO wealthy, and it’s not based on the amount of money we have! The conditioning that we’re immersed in due to capitalism is insidious and deep, but instead of getting angry about ‘the way it is’, I’m focusing about LIVING the change I want to see.
Right now, I have capacity to do more 1:1 sessions. Sure, I could do more marketing and promotion and focus on building up a bigger client base. But that doesn’t really excite me.
I’m more interested in making myself available for my community, many of whom don’t necessarily have $195 for a one-off session.
I feel like I’m an under-used resource, and I love the idea of finding a way to use more of that capacity whilst also inviting people to do work that shifts their worldview on money, abundance, generosity and the gift economy.
People will often say ‘I can’t afford to book a session’, and this totally removes that reason. Do you want to do powerful work and shift on the level of identity? Track down a Golden Ticket. How? See below.
Using Golden Tickets as the mechanism means I can run a gift economy experiment and track the data. (Yes, I’ll be running a spreadsheet against each serial number).
- How fast do the Golden Tickets move around?
- What’s the average dāna offering?
- Do people receive just as much value from the session when they’re (potentially) paying less?
- Does this method make this kind of work more accessible?
- Does it make it more fun?
- Does it devalue what I do in some people’s eyes?
- How do we value a session that could potentially dissolve a trigger that people have lived with for decades?
- Is it really money that stops people from signing up for this kind of work?
I kicked off this Gift Economy experiment on August 25, 2023 – I sent out my first golden ticket to someone who commented on this Instagram Post.
Keep an eye on my social media accounts, and make sure you subscribe to my newsletter for your chance to receive a Golden Ticket.
It’s game on folks!