Harvest of Patrons & Donors Call 2—4 December 2020.
Setting the scene:
We invest in Collective Alchemy in so many ways:
building relationships, we change because of each other
and the alchemising process.
It has taken intensive co-sensing to discover the richness of all that this field holds.
The fuel of attention, time and money are all needed
to sustain the bridge out into the future.
The facts of the financial landscape help frame us into our circle.
On this date, there are 17 patrons offering a recurring monthly offering.
7 souls have offered a one-off donation.
Patrons and donors each bring a different kind of energy.
What’s the difference? That’s part of the inquiry.
The figures: starting with the first patrons stepping in in May (£126),
the amount has increased each month as more patrons join.
The abundance peaked in September (£850), when it became possible to offer donations.
Since then, the amount has undulated up and down (£440 in December).
What does all this mean?
We are clear we aren’t charging a fee for participation in this field of practice.
Discerning right contribution (both form and amount)
is part of the alchemical testing ground.
How much to offer is a dance between
each practitioner, their circumstances and their sensing.
What is your contribution actually buying?
Currently, it’s supporting the stewarding of the practice,
webmaster support and coaching and
the online platforms (website and zoom).
We would love to be able to offer support for apprentices, according to need.
An honourable amount per month would be £1100.
That was met in the month of September.
These are all facts – who knows what is happening inside you as you hear (or read) this?
Who knows what alchemy is already in action?
Exploring the healthy dynamics of money and resources can be a hot topic for many of us.
The question we offer to the circle is part of our process:
to keep it close, where the alchemy resides.
WHAT FINANCIAL AMOUNT HAVE I PUT INTO THE CENTRE (OR NOT) AND WHY (NOT)?
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I NAME THIS?
Watching the squirrels gathering the nuts.
Somehow, they know when they have enough.
Stepping into this circle feels like those dreams
of being naked in a shopping centre.
Every month since we’ve begun, I have this conversation with myself.
What is the value of the work? Tangible, intangible?
It is endless fluid creativity – not standardised.
There is neither beginning nor end.
What financial amount have I put into the centre ?
An embarrassingly small one.
I’m in a survival situation: my focus is on housing and food…
That affected the amount I decided I could pay.
But, please: don’t think this is representative of the value of the work you’re doing…
Aren’t I kind?!
But in some ways, it is!
I gave less than I would ever have given in the past to anything like this,
because I needed to participate!
It seemed like an extra, when you’re living in survival mode.
But recently, I have to decide if I’m going to be an investor in the work for myself,
and make a commitment.
I need to determine HOW I’m going to support that financially.
Nobody really understands the work that goes into this,
and nobody understands the value of that work.
I feel shame when I name this amount,
I feel the same shame when I think about the value of my own work.
What do I deserve to ask, for my time, my wisdom?
I didn’t give enough.
I feel challenged by how I come up with that amount (about $12),
and feel ashamed.
My Patreon contribution is £14.40 per month.
Before hearing that there was an opportunity to donate,
I was wondering: how is this offered without any fee?
What an interesting situation!
How are they doing this?
I remember at the time, wanting to contribute.
I’m in a similar situation, building my own business,
without my own place to live, driving an ancient car, etc.
Not a lot of money coming through.
I did what I felt I could, whilst being aware
It wasn’t a realistic reflection of the value of what I was receiving
from joining the portal day calls.
But something is better than nothing.
I know, too: you have to pay fees for what you receive…
I’m not feeling shame. I will donate more as I’m able.
I’m aware of the shortfall – having stepped into the co-sensing circle
I see how much time and energy goes into it.
With awareness of that shortfall, I can see
there’s another level of support
going on behind the CA field – be it pensions, support of partners:
there’s a back drop.
This raises questions of perception of value,
a desire to be of service and the capacity to support oneself to do so.
I’m receiving some good business mentoring from a practitioner;
I had to make that decision to invest before I could afford to do so.
That investment was a risk,
and it’s supporting me to charge fees for my services
that feel good for me.
I’ve received enough to cover the effort that’s gone into the work.
Reflection of value, and trusting that those who are aligned and want to do the work
will find the money—which is what happens.
Then having conversations about people’s money stuff:
Holding the space for a person to process their stuff about money
as part of deciding whether or not they want to work with me.
Where it becomes uncomfortable for me—
I felt it as a charge and a constriction around my heart—
is that this takes me to what prevents me
from having fundamental trust in the abundance of the universe?
If I say: “this Collective Alchemy field is in service to the greater good of the whole”,
why am I not able to trust that the universe will bring that through me?
That applies, too, to own my work and my desire to have a home of my own.
Allowing myself to trust and to open
to the infinite abundance of the universe,
digging into what are those structures that stop me really stepping into that?
This is raising a lot of stuff for me. I give £40 a month.
I was giving it to support Sarah in her master’s study,
I wanted to continue to give a similar amount.
I don’t feel that kind of commitment towards Collective Alchemy: I feel it towards Sarah.
I feel discomfort with the system which connects money with investment, effort.
How to support people to give gifts to the world, so they can survive?
I support people I care about, not organisations.
It makes me rethink whether contributing to CA is what I want to be doing?
It feels like being back in church!
I wish that everyone on this call who has financial needs would let me know
so I could contribute to them all:
I don’t wish to contribute to what feels like a cult.
This brings up stuff of my own.
I give less than I could, because I don’t want my money to carry too much power.
I don’t want to be the major donor, who then feels like I own something…
I’d rather see money flowing in small amounts to lots of places.
I feel a lot of energy, anxiety, discomfort in sharing all of that.
I hope I don’t insult anybody.
My son despairs of my intuitive finance strategy.
I was a college professor for 30 years—the college asked me to invest in stocks.
I never did that.
My colleagues were much richer than me, thanks to their investments.
That isn’t right for me.
My money decisions are intuitive.
I can’t tell you how much I contribute monthly.
(£125)—plus some windfalls from cancellations.
And I give to food banks.
I support this because I love it.
I don’t need a lot of money for myself.
Money has flowed enough.
I let it flow on to places that feel right.
I think of donations in $25 chunks. They are tokens.
I pay because Sarah asked me to.
My money has been going to political parties.
Do you need us to get others to give money?
There are different ways to be a patron.
A dollar a day. It isn’t much, but it’s part of the pot.
I have been contributing £29 per month.
Reasoning – compared to other initiatives I support in the same spirit:
building and improving community.
From the start I was confused: there is much more value here,
but I don’t know how to ‘translate’ it into money.
I desired to invest more, but starting cautiously,
in terms of both time and money.
I stepped into the co-sensing for this inquiry,
as a more valuable form of investment.
Until today’s call, I had much more peace with my amount.
When asked to name the figure during the sensing call
I felt energy draining from my groin.
Now the fire is up again – let’s call it alchemy!
It’s not an easy thing to me; a fight between intuition and reason.
Money is a translation, a number, a measure, a unit.
It’s hard not to THINK about it.
I have the privilege of a well-paid job.
If I had to give enough to really feel it,
I would have to increase the amount I offer,
and it wouldn’t be in the spirit.
Since October, I have invested all my days off to Collective Alchemy.
It is an investment.
Hearing the stories today makes me struggle again with that number.
I’m happy that I have invested my free days into this group and these people,
and I look forward to continuing, so the fire keeps burning.
I contribute £17 per month—
it’s my biggest contribution on Patreon.
There can be more, in so many ways.
The gratitude, the connection, the immense value from each call,
it’s hard to put in numbers.
And it’s easy to rationalise.
I feel so energised, being part of this community,
and bringing this back to people around me, this gift, indirectly,
to share this warmth, this support, this care
that the Collective Alchemy community gives me.
My first background is in finance,
so money is something I have had to learn how to work with.
It was also my first heartbreak:
the 2008 financial crash took my ideals with it.
I have felt discomfort with the question, but stayed with it,
as an intentional choice:
these conversations do matter, uncomfortable as they are, in so many ways.
If we’re not able to speak these things in places such as this,
I am grateful to witness the conflicting emotions arising within me.
I wish our society would shift to another way of thinking about value.
Until then, we operate in a paradigm which defines commitment in monetary terms.
I want to ponder more on this question.
What am I committing to?
What am I eager to give?
How do I, personally, find peace with this challenge between value and numbers?
I want to call for abundance.
How can we shift this paradigm of scarcity to abundance?
How can we support each other in a different way?
My commitment is still here.
I will look into different aspects of my life
to see how I can expand it.
My gratitude is beyond any numbers.
What’s motivating me?
I don’t want to be motivated by fear, shame, guilt.
I want to be motivated by desire!
In the co-sensing circle, when we danced with this question,
I was the first to jump into the fire.
To get it over with!
We members of the hosting team have already been through it,
and it’s still hard the 2nd time round.
All that has been said resonates.
Touching living wounds in me or in the field.
I didn’t know how to settle on an amount that would feel right.
I didn’t feel comfortable with becoming a patron,
because I no longer earn a salary.
And yet I wanted to commit.
So the invitation to donations opened the door for me.
My reflection was about my commitment to this mysterious thing called Collective Alchemy.
It wasn’t about donating money.
But my decision to donate money coincided with my decision to commit.
It has been a serious process, to bring me to commit at the right time.
I felt the energy of stepping into something new.
And yet, still, naming the figure is hard.
So many words that have been said today are feeding the field
for a new development in the journey.
I name £248 as my first donation.
I also commit my time!
I donate something like £20 (before tax!)
In the spirit of this conversation:
my story is one about the price of integrity, and relationship.
In deep friendship with Sarah for quite some years,
I have witnessed the price she has paid
to maintain and follow her integrity,
to live and serve her (apparently meandering) soul’s calling,
which has frequently required her to pull up her roots
and step off the cliff.
The Wanderer setting out on a fresh journey
Again. And Again.
Over the years,
I have stepped in on a number of occasions
to provide a rainbow bridge
(so she wouldn’t be living under a bridge).
When I started the part of my ‘career’ that earned a good living
I believed in what I was doing.
But somewhere mid-career, I woke up to realise
I was more likely working for the Evil Empire.
As the major breadwinner, with 2 kids and a community
of semi-dependent adults under my roof,
I did not have the courage to quit
because it was against my morals!
So I can say that, for quite a few years, I sold my soul for money,
security and peace of mind.
These days, I am in the business of money laundering:
redirecting my surplus income towards others who need it.
Money is not what I need, these days.
With the birth of Collective Alchemy,
I wasn’t expecting to step into a more-or-less full-time job.
Nor can I imagine not being in this work.
And I can’t be well with it while Sarah is still struggling.
It’s an alchemy of relationship, meaningful work, community,
adventure and boundary setting.
And then there is the paradox that the more you, the practitioners, commit your time and energy,
the more work there is for us as the stewards,
as everything complexifies.
And YES! This is what we wanted! (Isn’t it?!)
This conversation is not a fund-raising campaign.
It’s about Alchemy. Practicing our practice.
We must all find ways of being well in this life,
so it feels precious to be in this inquiry together,
with this level of honesty and transparency,
about such a taboo topic.
This is my third time through this journey.
Once with Helen, once with the co-sensing group, and now, with you all.
Every time has been different: dropping into layers;
Feeling the intensity in my body, holding a space,
shaking out like an animal, recovering from trauma.
What I placed in the centre, financially, is nothing.
But I’ve placed in everything else.
The word ‘heartbreak’ echoes in me.
I’ve written about money for years, explored different patterns.
Somehow, the monetary system creates harm.
There is a cruelty threaded through it:
if you don’t have money and you are forced into debt,
you have to pay more interest.
This harm piece has been vibrating in my system.
What else would I be doing? This is mine to do, right now.
If this had been a smaller group this evening,
we’d still be doing it.
I’m in alchemy all the time—it’s part of my journey these days.
And there’s a balance—what feels right.
My boat has some buoyancy now,
where before it was slamming against the pier wall,
and I couldn’t get myself away.
This has been the journey throughout;
with this cycle since April we have had a clear read:
It’s Patreon, don’t name a fee; be in the discomfort.
Bringing this question into the middle,
is something we can all speak through.
In reality, a lot of the sums we have named, come through
to me at this point—because that’s where the need is,
in terms of the balance.
It is what it is. I can name that now.
Reflecting on a simple question:
Why did I become a patron?
I did it because I felt called to invest
time and money and energy
in something of value that my brain could not yet translate into words.
I love it when that happens!
I became a patron because
I wanted to contribute directly.
As much as Collective Alclhemy is a collective process
of fundamental and rooted change,
it’s also about how we can take that collective process
and turn it into something personal—keeping it close.
It’s that directness that brings it power,
that I want to embrace
even when it scares me.
Only recently has my brain found words to describe
that undeniable, magical power.
There are 30-40 years (each) of experience, breadth, depth
poured by our stewards into all that we do here together.
It carries the group forwards,
to make that change happen around us and inside us.
That’s why I’m a patron.
That’s why I want to lean in too,
to help strengthen and build this field.
Was the call worth the ride?
Not sure. Money!
Think so, Challenge.
Yes, keep burning.
Yes, growing edges.
Yes, Cracked open.
Yes, sensitivity to everyone’s circumstances.
Yes, acknowledging heartbreak, allowing trauma release.