Working in the Gift
Continuing a lifelong progression, this year I have formally transitioned my work into the realm of gift.
This means that I no longer enter into contracts or make agreements of exchange, but rather I offer my talents and services freely as gifts to whom I choose, and just as openly accept and receive gifts from whomever wishes me and my family well. If you have a heart-first project that needs my magic touch, please reach out.
Working in the gift has already proven expansive and liberating. Giving is the easy part. Who doesn’t want free work? But opening up to receiving and accepting feels more challenging.
Coin makes a great gift
If you have arrived here with some unsolved mysteries about what it means to live and work in the gift, allow me to address some frequent inquiries.
Why do you work in the gift?
My primary motive is that of an altruistic hedonist: it feels good and it feels right. I think this is a fantastic gauge for a gift as well.
My secondary motive is less selfish and more Atmanautical: our economy, our ecology, our psyches, and our hearts are breaking all at once. I don’t know how to stop this, or fix it, but the multi-faceted approach that Charles Eisenstein has laid out in Sacred Economics and The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible encourages my intuition that only way out of the Upside Down is from the inside out. That is to say, if we want to enact lasting systemic reform and usher in an era of abundance and loving-kindness, we must each first face our fears and shed the beliefs that bind us to scarcity and violence. I cannot, in good conscience, support the practices of progress and profit that are tearing us apart.
How does this impact your work?
The work I do flows more freely and easily, and tends to be more enriched with generosity and creativity when it is a gift from my heart to yours, rather than the mechanical fulfillment of expectations we conjure and construct into ironclad agreements.
When working in the gift, I feel more focused, freer to express myself, and less sensitive to criticism. Efficiency is no longer a concern, because I do not trade my time for money. Now beauty and delight are paramount.
Are you taking new projects?
I’m always open to and fielding new opportunities. If you have something you are passionate about that needs early stage convergence and strategy delivered as design and development for web and well-being, I’d love to hear from you.
I am especially interested in projects of this ilk.
Why don’t more people work in the gift?
Frankly it’s a little frightening to place oneself and one’s family at the mercy of the generosity of humanity. Wealth today is as concentrated as it gets, which indicates that generosity is at an all-time low. And it may get worse before it gets better.
At this point in ourstory (it’s not just history anymore), working in the gift is pretty uncertain. Capitalism and industry systematically convert nature into numbers, gifts into commodities. Working in the gift goes against the grain to return us to where we began.
Isn’t this a cop-out?
Aren’t you just uncertain what your work is worth?
Of course I am. The invisible hand of the market has led us horribly astray, ushering us into a panoply of concurrent crises. So I can no longer trust the fair market value of my work. Perhaps it is valueless. We will never know if we get stuck negotiating rates and don’t work together.
I am also aware that my work becomes invaluable when I pour my heart into it.
In fact, what first led me toward this shift were so many futile attempts to quantify the value of my work. Creative work, by its infinite, non-Euclidean nature, defies commodification. When we create, we open possibilities, designing new worlds for ourselves. This is how we change the rules of the Game, and why we have no reliable way of valuing creativity: it changes the rules by which we evaluate it.
As a visionary creative working on the razor’s edge of compassionate technology, I cannot predict the impact of my work, nor do I have anyone to against whom to price. That’s why I went into Easeness for myself in the first place: to fully embody the Fool that dances rapturously within me, everywhere offering division by zero to those on the verge of a breakthrough, performing a service only I can afford or manage to offer.