Dear Entrepreneur, Solopreneur, Creativepreneur, Girlboss: Price according to your values, not your value.
As I sat in my car at the post office last May and pulled all of this goodness out of a humble brown box with my name on it, I cried.
I've spent years overhauling my approach to money, worth, beliefs and value. These roots went deep, knotted impossibly around stubborn inner critics and hot-as-hell shame. And yet, as my trembling fingers pulled each sacred element out of this red silk bag, finishing with a carefully wrapped twenty-dollar bill and handwritten note, I healed. I suddenly felt like morning burst over a lifetime of dark-night-wrestling and showered me with prisms of lightness and light.
“I sprayed this $20 with frankincense & myrrh, because why not? :) It was given to me as an offering for my first Desire Map Workshop I led this weekend. I felt like I stepped into my true calling for the first time this week. I see that money as literal seeds. I feel you in my tribe so I want to share my seeds. May we both reap some delicious harvest!”—Abby, TheLuminousWild.com
I held that anointed $20 bill and tears streamed down my face. Old tears. Finally-finding-the-light tears. They sprang from a deep-hidden stream, the underground layer of my childhood implanted with all the shameful messages I embodied so perfectly.
THIS. This was everything I didn't know I needed.
I held that sacred money in my palms as if it had a soul and was alive, breathing, trusting me to be wise. My hands smelled of frankincense and myrrh—healing oils which softened tangled roots and loosened them, one by one, so I could slip out of old skin and into true skin. It felt like the very first time. And I stared at that twenty-dollar bill, heart-racing, knowing beyond doubt that I couldn't spend this on just any old thing. No. This money needed to go to something sacred. With intention. Something worthy of the same intention and trust of a gardener who tenderly presses seed into the earth and prays for rain.
For the first time ever, I got it. Thanks to the unforeseen tenderness of a dear soul who witnessed me and listened to a gentle prompt from the Spirit, I experienced a powerful miracle which taught me more than I've learned through years of reading, journaling, soul work, and thrashing it out.
So this is what pure money—money that is free from all of the baggage and expectation I place on it—feels like! Suddenly I felt strangely detached and on fire. So THIS is freedom! I wanted to take all of the damp and shoved dollar bills out of my wallet and the bottom of my bag. I wanted to unfold them from crumpled-up receipts, smooth them out, look at them with new eyes, and cleanse them with oils. I wanted to bless them and write dreams for them ... intentions, plans, purpose. I wanted to be money-wise. I wanted to take all of my deep life values and infuse them into my relationship with money and approach it from a place of truth—not from shame or fear-soaked ground.
This is how I want my money to feel.
Receiving this beautiful bundle and reading the words Abby wrote to me shifted my entire perspective on cash and commerce. She hadn't known I'd filed for bankruptcy a few weeks earlier. She didn't know the old stories of money shame I held or the new ones I was making up everyday. But she gave me a priceless gift I could use to heal the past and make my living. Because this is how I want to live—resonant, transcendent, glimmering with sacred intention. I want to own and embody my life and my living, not be at the mercy of what I owe or what I need, because money is not the answer to or source for either of these. Money is a tool, a gift, a resource, an energy. I am empowered to be smart with it, just like with all other tools, gifts, resources, energies, and to trust the true Source. I feel like I'm still taking baby steps, but I also feel like I'm soaring.
The seeds that were planted into the earth of me that day in the parking lot at the post office are now beginning to blossom. It's taken all the patience of a farmeress who reads her almanac and keeps one eye on the sky and the other on the ground. Who is willing to get pebbles in her shoes, black under her fingernails and dirty knees. Weeding. Watering. Transplanting. Staking up. Reading poetry to. Whatever it takes to nurture abundant life.
This is another chapter in the tender story of why I've chosen to price my work according to my values, rather than my value. The value of my worth is infinite and the value of my work is relative. I can't make empowered business decisions based on this. But I can explore my values and and invite wisdom to lead the way. I greatly value wisdom. And sacred intention. Trust, freedom, experiments, blessing, love, self-expression, beauty, and unconventionality are all values. How do they inform the way I work? As a creative entrepreneur, how does my value of beauty guide my decisions? How do the values of trust, love, blessing and freedom illuminate my path? How can I do business with the value of sacred intention? With the value of sharing and investing seeds? What does this look like? How does it feel?
I want it to feel like holding a sacred bundle of lavender flowers, love notes, frankincense and myrrh. Like moonstone and comforting herbal tea and moss and palo santo. Like tears streaming down my face and the lightness of morning and whole-body yeses. Like tenderly anointed seeds in my palm. Like mercy.
Like hoping that the quiet little girl and her dark-night-of-a-soul will become an abundant wise woman, strong and true, on her knees in beauty and harvesting a wild field of grace.