I'll Trade You
“When life is full of such things, made with care, connected by a web of stories to people and places we know, it is a rich life, a nourishing life.”
Starting this blog, I have had so much support from friends - whether it is taking photographs, editing my crazy thoughts on the page, or being guinea pigs for styling. Thank you! Your gifts of time and support help me to realize that trading goods and services creates more of a nourishing environment than just simply paying and leaving. Although money has its purpose and place, I want to emphasize that reciprocity and gifting often times are more rewarding because it’s a communal act. For more on this, check out the book Sacred Economics by Charles Eisenstein.
While doing another styling session with a friend, Lisa, I pulled out a bag and asked why she wasn't wearing it all the time (it's that great). She simply says, “You can have it.” This bag was gifted to her. It is also fair trade, and beautifully woven with leather accents. I love that I am the third person to “own” it. I have been looking for a new bag for a while, and this one just fell into my hands. To me, that is payment enough as I practice with different types of personalities, closets, and body types during my styling session.
It is in these moments that both parties are rewarded in very meaningful ways. Lisa worked with me to purge her closet and style a smart casual look. I was able to gain practice and got a totally awesome bag that has a history of being gifted.
Another friend that is very giving of her time and materials is Andrea from Blonde Bedhead. Not only does she help me out with photography, she is constantly passing along hair products, clothes, and her knowledge of products. As silly as it sounds, there have been times where I am lost in Sephora and call Andrea for help.
To bring this into your own life, I encourage you to gift something you already have. See where you can trade services or make something to trade for another handmade thing. In art school, classmates and I were constantly trading our own work for other’s pieces. Or try organizing a clothing swap with your friends - it's a great way to practice this idea and try out new looks! Take some time to think of how valuable you are. Write down your talents, hobbies, and excess materials. Think of how you can invest in the people and communities around you. Consider your own needs and make them known… you never know who or what might come your way.
“We’ve all been given a gift, the gift of life. What we do with our lives is our gift back.”