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A Dreamer’s Dream: Uniting Work and Play Through the Gift {Right Hemisphere}

Perhaps-the-Dreams-are-of-SoulMates-Cameron-Gray

 

A Dreamer’s Dream: Uniting Work and Play Through the Gift

{The Right Hemisphere}

 

 

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“An individual reunifies with the world when she seeks no longer to triumph over it or control it, but to give to the world and accept its gifts in the full recognition of gratitude.

That is what I call “Living in the gift.”

Harking to the hunter-gatherer, it is a state of abundance without control,

a state of creativity and growth without domination,

a state of ease that yet fosters exquisite mindfulness.

It is available right now.”

— Charles Eisenstein “The Ascent of Humanity”

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My personal path of (re)unification, to “living in the gift”, began a few years ago with the discovery of another book by Charles titled, “Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition”. The inspiration I received from his words sparked a journey of metamorphosis in how I related to, and saw the world around me. In essence, the book was an external reflection that illuminated an inner recognition of truth; a truth that had been long buried within me. Our lives are a gift, and the only appropriate, moment-to-moment response, is one of gratitude. Cultivating this mentality has changed my life in ways I can hardly express in words.
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It was once shared with me that there is no word in the Blackfoot language for “thank you” – an Elder explained – “Gratitude is the language of the heart, and the heart has no tongue.”

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What I aim to present here is not necessarily a “structure” or “program” – it is simply a perspective on what is possible in life – one colour of lens with which to view the world, as seen through my personal experiences – a story. You may not agree with any of it, and that is okay. I do not mean to say that your path is wrong either; I honour and respect where you are on your journey. Much of what I write about requires a centering in the heart, for it is our hearts that whisper truth to us, underneath the constant and often critical chatter of the mind. There are two things my heart tells me more strongly than ever as each day passes.

One, is that the best way in which to affect deep change within the world is to follow your heart, your excitement, to go after and create that which you desire most. I believe we can create a world where everyone is free and empowered to follow their bliss in each and every moment – life does not have to ever be a struggle or sacrifice. The second, is that following our internal heart guidance is the only way that will return this planet and all of its children to balance – ushering in the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible. The world of external force, control, and manipulation is crumbling – being replaced with a world of inspiration and playful exploration of the individual and unique human spirit as it relates to the whole.

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Beginning With Baby Steps

Playing with the gift has essentially been a journey of deepening into trust; a trust that I will always have what I need, exactly when I need it. It has meant an expansion of previously held definitions of “wealth” and “abundance” – beyond the finite (tangible) and into the infinite (intangible). I have received opportunity to heal wounds tied to internalized stories of scarcity, fear, and separation by replacing them with new awareness of abundance, love, and connection. This process has been a gradual removal of training wheels, an opening through baby steps, each one just at the edge of my comfort zone, each one supported by the love and reciprocated gratitude of those around me.

The play of discovering this reconnection began at Eden’s Cove – a community home that offered various healing experiences to anyone who felt they needed rebalancing. Initially, we began by offering the healing with a suggested range for a monetary donation as an exchange. This quickly transformed into offering all healing as a pure, unconditional gift to those in need; any return expressions of gratitude and value were entirely open to the receiver’s creativity. I write in more detail about Eden’s Cove in my previous blog, suffice it to say here that the space created for the free expression of individual gifts had profound and lasting impacts on my views of our world and humanity’s potential.

As my time at Eden’s Cove unfolded, I found the courage and trust to move from full time work (or “traditional employment”), to part time, and finally, to no “employment” a little over one year ago. Personal experimentation with giving my gifts has involved playing between layers of giving – from outright gifts, to a “pay-what-you-can” monetary exchange, to a set monetary or non-monetary exchange (or barter) – all depending on my comfort level, present needs, and what felt right at the time through each unique exchange. Whether it was a “personal development” (I think I like “awareness expansion” more) session, a handmade meditation stool, homemade wine, writing, or a piece of art – I felt drawn to open myself up to new ways of giving and receiving. These experiences have inevitably led me to where I am today: feeling comfortable enough to live entirely within the gift.

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What does “living in the gift” mean to me?

For one, it means recognizing that this day, my life, talents, possessions, passions, time, and love are not really “mine”, as they were gifts to me. And on a tangible level too – most of what I carry with me has been gifted to me; a realization that deepens me further into gratitude every day. I am where I am today due to the gifts and generosity of others. Our default state is gratitude: the feeling of having received a gift and the desire to give in return. To hold onto our gifts is to stagnate. Gratitude is generated and amplified through the flow of gifts.

Gratitude is more than a feeling to me. Gratitude is also an outward expression that is demonstrated through our honouring of the gifts that we receive. I think back to the gifts I have received that I did not honour, that I allowed to stagnate, break, or become lost – not to be upset by, or to hold guilt – but to carry mindfulness into the present for the gifts all around me and within me right now. We honour gifts by caring for them, by nurturing them with our whole heart while they are in our lives, and by passing them on when our need has been fulfilled and another’s need opens up.

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Living in the gift means trusting in the web of gifts that encircle our relationships, the whole world, and the cosmos beyond. The sun gives its light and warmth unconditionally; we trust in this so deeply we rarely think about it. Gifts come to us in every moment, in all shapes and sizes. Maybe I don’t receive a return gift directly from a specific person I gave to, but I can trust that when my needs arise, they will be filled in another way, in another form (I am also feeling called to mention a difference between needs and wants). My experiences have shown me that if I remain open and grateful, needs are filled, as sure as a circle has no end, often exactly when it is needed, and regularly from sources and in forms totally unexpected. Nature fills the valley and abhors a vacuum.

I feel comfortable now with giving my gifts to anyone who is open to receive, and only when I feel I am able to give authentically (honouring the balance between giving and receiving). This does not mean that I am closed to receiving, otherwise the circle would not be complete and I would drain myself. I love to share all of my creations, ideas, projects, and the like to the world whenever I feel called to do so, dissolving my fears of “not being able to afford to.” Again, this has been a journey of expanding my trust and comfort zone, I am by no means perfect or in resonance with this state of gratitude and abundance all of the time; it is essential to acknowledge where you are as a unique individual. Remember, we are all at play within a story of our own rules. What kind game do you want to play?

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Bringing it Back to the Present

For the past four months I have been mobile in a camper, first East across Canada, then giving back at various festivals through British Columbia and Alberta, and now into the United States along the west coast. There are many times when I had no money, most of the time less than a few hundred dollars, and a few times when I had to reach out to my community for help with buying gas to reach destinations or food to eat. The experiences of “no money” have been the most insightful, for they provide me with opportunity to become aware of stories I am holding onto involving scarcity and fear. They were opportunities to become aware of the infinite “non-monetary” abundance all around me (in beauty, nature, love, time, relationship, etc.).

When I did reach out for help, I created space for others to give only if their hearts felt called to, no pressure, simply a communication of a need to be filled by the gifts of others. I feel that I have established bonds of friendship and connection with others through the circle of giving and receiving in a way that strengthens and adds to each relationship. The generosity I have been exposed to serves as inspiration for a deeper generosity within myself.

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Where does my financial flow come from?

In the past, as I have been slowly healing my desire to control and my need to take, layer by layer, money has flowed in through the selling of my time and various creations, the gifting at Eden’s Cove, as well as the occasional student loan. These were training wheels – they provided me with the opportunity to play in the gift – yet still contained an element of the “taking” I was looking to release. It would be a challenge for me to list all of the specific sources of inflow, indeed there is too much magic and serendipity involved to explain it all, however I would say that it all has come through the generosity of community. This is one small manifestation of the peer-to-peer revolution taking place.

Currently, I have two main sources of financial inflow: a share of the money coming in from the use of the floatation tank at Prema Sai in Calgary, and donations gifted through my blog from those inspired to do so. While the former is a “guaranteed” biweekly payment, neither of them provide me with any future indications of how much I will receive, if any at all. And yet, these past four months on the road have taught me that I will always have exactly as much as I need, exactly when I will need it. Sometimes I feel like I need to ask for help – and do – other times it arrives without my needing to do so directly. I feel I have moved away from the need to take and into the realm of creating space for people’s natural generosity to emerge. Each time, I expand into trust and acceptance. Again, I am not perfect and still require refocusing and re-balancing as I move deeper into this new story, healing the wounds that arise attached to the old stories.

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Is there a point to my ramblings?

I guess I have two intentions with this blog. The first, is to set the stage for a subsequent blog I will be writing about a dream I have (the left hemisphere). The dream is to develop a “platform” for the creation of a support network which will empower others to not only discover and develop their unique gifts, but enable them to give their gifts freely, however their heart calls, without the worry of “being able to afford to”. This will be for individuals whom, like me, are tired of the continual pressures to reduce the infinity of their creations and time into a finite number of exchange. I am grateful beyond words for where I am today, all a result of the generosity of others, and I have a deep desire to help others reunite work and play through the gift.

And secondly, I desired to illustrate to anyone reading, that I aim to live my life in alignment with the gifting mentality as best as I can, more fully and completely each day, and that in order to continue giving my gifts freely, I do rely on the generosity from those receiving. It is important for us to support the dreams we believe in, however we feel called to do so. I am always striving to be as conscious as possible with my financial outflow – asking myself if it contributes to the more beautiful world I desire to create. I continually discover beautiful projects I desire to support and your help and encouragement empowers me to do so more fully.

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If you feel called to support my dream, my message, and my playful creations, please share! If you feel like you receive something from my gifts, I am grateful for any gifts you desire to give back: a share, a comment, some money, a hug, a creation of your own, anything! Financial flow is needed and can be directed through my paypal, or I can accept email transfers (preferred – no charges involved). For those of you in Calgary, treat yourself to a float in the floatation tank at Prema Sai – you will be helping your body heal, support a local business, and empower me to give my gifts – it’s a win-win-win!

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What gift can you give in this moment?

How can you cultivate the gifts that exist within you already to give more fully of yourself to the world?

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Your brother in love,

Skye Dreamer

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