"We are born helpless infants, creatures of pure need with little resource to give, yet we are fed, we are protected, we are clothed and held and soothed, without having done anything to deserve it."
I grew up with a single mom who made just over $4/hour, and a dad who took her to court every chance he had in hopes to reduce child support. Everything I've ever done had a financial consideration hitched to it. Can I go to the dentist? Is grocery shopping possible this week? Am I able to join my friends for a birthday dinner celebration? In fact, like so many hard working Americans, I went my whole adult life, up until marriage almost 4 years ago, without health insurance and never seeing a doctor.
The economic system out of which our modern culture operates separates the winners from the losers. The people who have "earned" and "deserve" basic life-giving activities and services, and those who have not.
Enter: The Gift Economy.
At Comfy Fitness, we operate our LIVE Online fitness classes inside of a Gift Economy Model. This model, when Carrie first introduced it to me, spoke to me on a deep, spiritual level due to my own experience with poverty and not having enough. Through my business, I had always desired having something to give everyone, regardless of financial capability. I believe that everyone deserves guidance in taking care of their bodies if they want it, and am committed that my business not be the organization that denies anyone that opportunity.
Our Comfy Fitness Guides, through our online platform, GIFT their expertise, talents, energy, time, and creativity on a weekly basis, and our online members receive these gifts. Through our member site, we give participants an opportunity to GIFT in return if they choose to do so monetarily, by choosing their membership gift amount. There is no recommended "donation" and it's not "pay what you can". What we offer is priceless.
This is foreign for most people, so do not be concerned if this feels wrong or weird. To guide our members through the process of choosing their membership amount, we ask them to consider a few components:
1. What are your financial means?
2. How much do you value what we are gifting to you in this offering?
3. What gift amount will keep you committed and motivated (because let's face it, most people don't value things that are free, enough to benefit from them.)
4. How much will you be using the service?
5. What feels honest and good to you? It likely doesn't feel good to be paying more than you can afford or less than honors the energy of what you are receiving within your means.
6. If that's a lot to consider or circumstances change, just know members can alter their gift amount or cancel anytime they want.
Being a new mom myself has been an eye-opening experience of what it means to give without expectation of anything in return, and the sacrifices my own mother made to ensure my crossover into adulthood. I now understand on a much deeper level why our default state of being, as humans, is gratitude. And the unconditional love I feel for my little human is all the reciprocity I need to make sure she's happy, comfortable and taken care of. What a gift...