Tag Archives: gift economy

Thursday Thoughts: May 19, 2016

“Capital as such is not evil; it is its wrong use that is evil. Capital in some form or other will always be needed.” – Mahatma Gandhi

I go back and forth a lot when it comes to money in general, fiat currencies, buying & selling, charging for my services, etc.

For many years before I started this chapter of my life, I spent a lot of my time concerned with money. I worked full-time, I sold… products on the side, I was always ready for a way to make a profit on a deal. During these years, I spent most of my free time drinking, getting stoned, playing video-games, binge-watching TV & movies, and having a string of unhealthy relationships (both romantic & platonic). I hold much experimentation with psychedelics, failed suicide attempts, and other near-death experiences responsible for the shift out of this.

When I began to pay attention to what was happening in the world again was when I started a relationship with an amazing woman I had met at my local mmj dispensary. She opened my eyes to many things, like GMOs & fluoride, and she constantly asked me questions that helped me re-frame so many things that I had long thought of as things that were wrong with me. I quit my job when she, her brother, and I started our own medicated BBQ sauce & honey business.

Bud Kindly BBQ

When things fell apart between the three of us, I removed most of my focus from the making/having/spending of money, and focused all my energy on trying to change the world. I quickly went to a non-GMO diet, cutting out processed foods. Next I created a couple of FB pages, getting 1000s of likes quickly by posting poignant memes in busy comment threads on large pages. As that grew tiresome, I attended my first protest, the 2013 Million Mask March, and realized that we had to be out making a positive change, not complaining about the problems we saw. So, I proceeded to help organize a string of events called #OpSafeWinter.

A few months into my organizing career, a couple of friends introduced me to the Law of Attraction, through the work of Abraham-Hicks, and that old saying, “be the change you want to see in the world” resonated with me very strongly. I began focusing all of my energy on myself, my happiness, my healing, my communication. I decided I would not work again for someone I didn’t actually support, and quickly got a job at Bob’s Red Mill, a non-GMO, employee-owned company. I made a clear budget for myself while I was there: 25% rent & utilities, 50% food so I could share with lots of people (all from the organic co-op 20 blocks away, so blessed!), 25% on improving myself. I ended up being the organizer of Portland’s 2014 Million Mask March, and in doing so decided to focus my my money on the event, spending over $3000 in a couple months on printing flyers & brochures, getting 500 Guy Fawkes masks, food, and creating ~450 info bags (Alais Clay’s “Reverse Hypnosis“, MC Xander’s “Eyeopeness”, Adam Kokesh’s “FREEDOM!“, and the documentary “Owned & Operated“). [Just an aside, the 2 CDs and the DVD were all burnt and Lightscribe labeled one at a time.]


After putting on that event, I decided to focus back on myself again, but this time in treating myself as well. I got an E-bike to make my commute to work better, I cut down from 40 hours/week to 32, I signed up for an $500 workshop, followed by a trip to Mexico for Anarchapulco! When I got back to Portland, I knew it was time for some major changes, and just 3 months later I quit my job, gave away & sold almost all of my belongings, and packed a backpack to hit the road.

Just in the last 11 months since I started traveling (wow, it seems like a LOT more time has passed than that), things have really shifted a great deal. When I left for the Rainbow Gathering, I brought with me about 600 pounds of food to donate, $200 cash, my backpack & day-pack with everything I needed to live, and 2 boxes of crystals to give away. For the following months, I had almost no interaction with money at all, reclaiming a lot of food, occasionally working a trim-job for a day to get me through the next few weeks, volunteering at every festival I attended, and just generally being of service, meaning people wanted me around.

Towards winter solstice last year, I had a realization that my resistance to money was acting as a resistance to abundance in general, and decided to start changing things. Almost immediately, I was made an offer to cook an 8-course meal for a 20+ person Christmas dinner. Around the same time, I was getting some guidance & assistance from an amazing friend Andy Harrison, who made a point about every dollar that comes to me making the world better, by the nature of what I have dedicated my life to being and doing.

Shortly after this, I found myself at the second Anarchapulco, where I was cooking food & making smoothies for a building full of anarchists, happily accepting donations towards the food, and cooking large meals & selling to-go meals on a pay-what-you-want basis. A brother I met while down there this year just refused to get food from me, unless I set a price for him, which I was HIGHLY resistant to (My feeling is that I don’t know your financial situation or how much you are going to like the food. I want you to have the experience I am sharing, then decide what, if anything you want to give me in return), and though I did end up giving him a price, we never actually made the exchange. I was also offered a few things like being a personal chef, doing online cooking classes, and being given money to keep doing what I’m doing… most of which I haven’t really taken action on because of my lack of surety here.

I listen to people on every end of the spectrum when it comes to money and commerce, and I know that in the next few years, I plan on finding myself on a piece of land somewhere with a village of aligned people who want to share with & take care of each other, and it won’t be a concern. In the meantime, what to do? I know that I love the feeling of giving away a bunch of food, and letting people give me tips/donations if they want to; I know that it feels good to show up at an event and give my all without any expectation of something in return, and it feels even better when I do end up getting something in return; I know that it doesn’t feel quite right to set a price to something; I know that it doesn’t feel good to keep someone from having something because of a lack of money.

For the moment, I’m in the place of continuing to give all that I can, and just being sure to remain open to whatever the universe sends back my way, either from the people receiving or in some other way. I have also finally gotten comfortable enough with the idea of asking for help from others to create a crowdfunding page (something that has been next-on-the-list for many months now).

This ended up being quite the wall of text, so I am definitely going to put up a separate post as the “official” launch of my campaign, but here are the details on my 2016 Tour and how you can support it on GoFundMe… or you can:

Donate via Bitcoin


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