MY PHILOSOPHY AND POLICIES ABOUT MONEY & THE WORK
My Personal Background and Basic Philosophy About Money
I offer the following "snapshot" of myself as a way for you to understand where I'm coming from and how I think about money and energy exchange.
I grew up in a small town in Kansas -- medium-size family/small-size money. I worked my way through college and have supported myself all my life.
I live pretty simply -- and I consider myself "rich" (even though the most people viewing me from a status-quo perspective would probably not consider me rich by virtue of my bank-balance or net worth). I live in a warm, safe house with plentiful, clean water available, and I have more than enough to eat -- to me, that's "rich".
It's not that I have any problem with the medium of money as an exchange format. I think that it is a very handy agreement to have, but I haven't spent my life trying to amass financial wealth. I see money as one of many tools I can use to help create the reality that I want to live in (and that I want to invite others to live in).
I invest the majority of my daily energy into bringing our work to those who want it.
I prefer to re-use and recycle as much as I possibly can -- my clothing and cars are usually second-hand, and you may often find me building something that I need rather than purchasing it. I choose to live this way, not because I have any "negative" judgment about money as a medium of exchange, but because living simply and practicing "Reduce/Reuse/Recycle" fits better with my personal spiritual ideas about what is sustainable for me as an individual, our species as a collective, and the Earth as a living being.
Like most people, I have bills for things like heating oil, electricity, phone and rent with people/companies who don't accept trade, so there are things that I need money for. Maybe someday the electricity company will be willing to trade me for session work, but right now, they don't seem inclined toward that -- but hey -- maybe someday soon! Personally, I'm energizing that Utopia.
The issue of charging money for "spiritual work" is one that I have thought a lot about, and continue to think a lot about -- I have experimented with many different formats to find modes of exchange that are both flexible and aligned with the Cosmic Law of Equal Exchange. If you read my blog, you'll find lots of interesting insights and ponderings about this and other matters touching on my work as a teacher and spiritual mentor.
I have spent hour/days/weeks -- possibly months or years -- of my life pondering and discussing the issue of what constitutes "Equal Exchange" -- and I've arrived at conclusions based on years of experimenting with different formats and writing/thinking/discussing different the myriad possible modes of exchange.
At the most basic level, my current philosophy about exchange for my work boils down to this:
I am equally committed to making this work accessible in some form to all who want it and to caring well for myself.
I believe that the work that I offer is worthwhile and valuable.
I believe that maintaining equal exchange is an important part of living a "Cosmically Aligned" life.
What I Charge Now and How I Make My Work Available Outside the Realm of Money
I started working with Carruch since 1991, and my work as a spiritual advisor, mentor, and teacher has been my primary source of income since 1998 -- after much experimentation with formats around money, barter, and exchange (including working for nine years entirely on the basis of voluntary "love offerings"), I have come up with the following pricing structures:
My Regular Prices for Private Recorded Sessions are:
I offer occasional discounts in the form of reading "specials" (usually once or twice each year, sometimes more often) -- these are generally available only to those who agree to be on my email list.
As an acknowledgment to those who refer clients to me, and who adhere faithfully to my payment and cancellation policies, I offer ongoing reduced prices for readings. I call it "The Karma Club", and you can read more about it, and how you can become a member at "About The Karma Club"
For more than twelve years, I volunteered my services as a teacher, channel, and minister to The Society of Conscious Service at least three times each week, at Open Circle, Doing the Do Class and other spiritual enrichment classes, and by providing a weekly online audio teaching. In June of 2010, I took a break from these activities to explore where I wanted to go next in terms of our offerings -- you can usually find information about our most recent offerings on our Home Page.
During weekly Open Circles (1998 to 2010), I channeled Carruch in a public setting for all who desired to attend, and their personal questions were welcome at this time. At this time, we do not offer a regular onsite Open Circle, but we welcome those who would like to host a donation-based Open Circle to contact us. I have traveled to offer Open Circles in Chicago, the Bay Area, Portland Oregon, and more than fifteen towns and cities in Washington State. (Please use the Contact link at the top of this page to email me if you'd like me to travel to your area.)
We currently have a scholarship fund for the Intentional Evolution and Exponential Growth program which can help those with less money access this important program -- Click here to read more about, or apply to the IE/EG Scholarship Fund
Trade, Payment Arrangements, Discounts, and Donation-based Work
I am usually open to working through trade for materials and service, making financial arrangements, or offering discounted work to individuals who:
a) Are in real financial need (see below), and for whom this might an obstacle to participating in my work,
b) Who have made a personal comittment to work outside the medium of monetary exchange in all aspects of their lives (those who have made and kept vows of poverty, etc.)
When I negotiate alternative exchanges for my work, I generally only do so in writing (via email or snail mail). I consider any such negotiated agreements to be binding, and I require that such arrangements be made prior to the time that you schedule your reading or other service.
If you schedule first -- without negotiating any alternative exchange arrangement with me, I may continue with your session (at my sole discretion), but in most cases, I'll probably just cancel the appointment and ask you to reschedule after you've negotiated with me.)
Please expand the details in the sections below to find out more about trade, payment arrangements, discounts and donation-based work.
What I Mean by "Real Financial Need"
When I speak of "real financial need", I mean people who do not currently have -- in income, savings, or expendable property that they could easily sell -- money beyond what it takes to provide themselves with adequate food, shelter/utilities, and clothing. In other words, they truly do not have discretionary income at present with which to make monetary exchange for a session with me.
If you contact me and say "I don't have a lot of money right now", that could mean -- well . . . just about anything.
It's my perception that the concept of "a lot of money" is so subjective and fluid from individual to individual that it could mean "I'm choosing between having a session and paying my rent", or "I'm choosing between having a session and drawing on that $20,000 in savings that I swore I wouldn't touch" (and yes, I've had actual clients contact me from these scenarios, and both of them said the same thing: "I don't have a lot of money right now").
Which brings me to:
"NEED" vs. "CHOICE/PRIORITY" Here are some general rules to consider when approaching me for trade, arrangements, or discounted work:
If you eat out twice a week or more, I believe that you can probably afford to pay for a session with me.
If you get a daily Grande Latte at Starbuck's, you're spending about $90/month -- the cost of a half-hour phone session.
Now don't get me wrong -- I have nothing against eating out, coffee, or Starbucks -- my point is this: If you have room in your budget for these things, any hesitance you may have about paying me money for my work is probably more about choices and priorities, and less about "need".
Some people that I think of as being in real financial need, and to whom I gladly offer trade, financial arrangements, and discounted/donation-based work are:
Anyone who, by virtue of their income and assets, would qualify for state assistance such as Aid to Dependent Children, Food-stamps, or SSI (whether they are using these programs or not).
Elders living solely on Social Security income.
Dependent children of non-affluent families.
Anyone whose income and assets put them below the poverty line in their country of residence.
Of course, there are always exceptions and special circumstances, so if you are currently in real financial need due to such special circumstances, or if you are a person who has made a real commitment to working outside the medium of monetary exchange for spiritual or other reasons, please contact me, let me know what your situation is, and propose an alternative form of exchange for a reading -- after reading the sections below, of course. :)
About TRADE/WORK EXCHANGE
I generally consider trade/work-exchange only for materials and services that I would purchase anyway -- I have a list on this site of "Stuff I Need and/or Want". (Important! please check this list before contacting me to propose a trade or work-exchange.)
My general guidelines about trade/work exchange are as follows:
I believe that equal energy exchange is an important aspect of healing and enlightenment work. It is my opinion, backed up by many years of experience, that offering something of yourself makes a space for the information I bring to "fit" in your consciousness.
If trading with me, please pay as much you can with money -- then make the rest up in trade. (Unless you are exchanging with me for something that I have already clearly stated that I want/need.)
Please take the time to determine why you are proposing a trade with me -- before you make your proposal. (Please check out "Need vs. Choice/Priority" in the section above) Do you perceive that you "need" to trade with me, and could have a session no other way? Would you pay for a session if you "had the money", or are you proposing a trade because you believe strongly in principles of barter economy? I ask that you take the time to examine any "stuff" you may have about money and exchange before inviting me into a trade/work-exchange.
Please consider your trade as seriously as you do when you exchange for money.. In the past, I have experienced that many people "blow off" appointments for which they intend to trade. I believe this reflects our cultural agreement that money is the only "real" payment. I don’t hold with that and I give the same quality of work for trade as for cash. I ask that you honor my work by considering your trade just as seriously, which means that:
You complete your end of our trade in a timely fashion in accordance with the agreement we make.
You complete your trade with good will and quality service.
You show up/call for your session with me on time and with willingness to receive the work I have to offer. If you show up/call late, cancel with less than 24-hour notice, or don't show up for our session time, I will consider that you still owe me your end of the trade, just as I would if you were paying money for your session (basically, I handle trade/work-exchange according to the same that I have for monetary exchanges).
Please be as willing to offer trade/work-exchange options to others as you are hoping I will be to make such an exchange with you.
If we're unable to negotiate a mutually-amenable trade, payment arrangements can be made in advance, such as paying over time. It is important to me that people be able to access the work, and we can usually find a flexible alternative so that personal finances are not an obstacle to your participation.
I make agreements about trade and financial arrangements in writing.
How To Propose A Trade/Work-Exchange
BEFORE YOU SCHEDULE! a Trade/Work-Exchange Session
First: read the bit immediately above: "About TRADE/WORK-EXCHANGE" -- Please read it completely. (No. Seriously. -- Read that first. Otherwise, I'll most likely just ask you to come back to this site and read it, if you contact me about a trade and it's clear to me that you haven't read that yet -- usually because you are asking questions that I've already answered here).
Second: Check the list of "Stuff I Need and/or Want" to see if the trade proposal you have in mind is something I might be interested in -- if your service/material is not listed there, fine -- but make sure it's not in the section called "Things I Do Not Usually Trade For".
Third: Send me an email or mail/deliver a letter to me, stating:
What kind of session or mentoring service you want.
When you want to schedule.
What you are proposing as trade.
Whether your proposal is offered as a partial or complete trade for the service you desire. If the trade is partial, please indicate how much you are proposing to exchange in monetary form, and when/how you will send any money payment.
When/how you plan to deliver your portion of any service or material included in the trade
I will email you back and either ask you for more details, or tell you that I Do/Do-Not want to engage in the trade you have proposed.
If you've read the above and find yourself thinking: "Geez! What a lot of work!" or "Wow! She's demanding!" -- I'll ask that you simply understand that I have been working with people under this format for a long time, and I've discovered that some things work well, while others do not. I've done my experimentation, and I want to spend my time in ways that are effective and fulfilling for me.
About PAYMENT ARRANGEMENTS
If you can't/don't want to make a trade/work-exchange with me, but monetary exchange is a problem for you right now, we can make financial arrangements, such as paying over time. I don't charge interest for such arrangements, but I do ask that you:
a) Make your payment arrangement in writing (email counts).
b) Be completely honest and truthful with me about what you will pay, and when.
c) Follow through on your payment arrangements with me according to our agreement (which will be in writing).
d) Notify me immediately if you will not be making a scheduled payment as agreed.
e) Abide by my cancellation policy, and pay me your agreed-upon payments in full, even if you are late for, or skip, your appointment with me.
To propose a payment arrangement, please email me at
, or telephone me at 360-301-5345. Let me know:
What type of service you want (private reading, mentoring, class, etc.)
If you are requesting arrangements for a private reading, what length of reading you want.
Please propose a payment arrangement arrangement that you will stick to ($20/month for X months, due on the __ day of the month, etc.)
I will email you and confirm whether your proposed arrangement is accepted.
About DISCOUNTED or DONATION-BASED work
I realize that there are situations in which trade or payment arrangements are not possible for folks, yet they might benefit greatly from my work.
Because of this, I do some session work at deeply discounted rates or by donation to those who meet my definition of "real need", or who are in a very unique circumstances (in certain situations, I offer my work completely free of charge, without even a request for a donation, or I may suggest a "pay it forward" mode, where the client makes a promise to offer someone else a similar free service when they are able to).
If I do offer you a discount, donation-based, or free-of-charge work, here's what you can do for me to help maintain the energy-exchange balance:
Accept the work without guilt -- I don't need or want any apology from you because we are exchanging in this way, rather than through agreed-upon pricing -- and in fact, "talking you through it" is simply another form of energy-out on my part, so I really appreciate it if you work through any stuff you may have about it on your own, without involving me.
Embrace the work that's being offered with good will, and put it to work! One of the greatest frustrations that I've had with offering discounted, donation, or "free" work is that I've noticed that it frequently doesn't seem to penetrate, or that the client seems to blow it off -- I think that this may have to do with our cultural assumptions that something that is "cheap" or "free" is "worth less".
How To Help Someone Who Is In Real Financial Need to Have a Session
First, be sure that they actually want to have a private reading with me. If they are unfamiliar with my work, please have them check out my website, or have them telephone me to get some information about how I work and what I offer. You may have really enjoyed or valued your session with Carruch, but it may just not be their cup of tea -- and that's really OK!
If you have a friend or loved one who you think would really benefit from a session, but it's your perception that they would not have a session because of financial concerns, please ask them what is true for them, and consider gifting them all or part of their session price (if you make a "matching" contribution to their reading, I'm often willing to contribute the rest of the cost free of charge). Again, though, please be sure that this is something that they want. Doing session work for people who don't really want to be there is exhausting to me, and I consider it a waste of everyone's time and resources.
If you want to support my efforts in providing free/donation-based readings and services, please consider making a donation to our IE/EG Scholarship Fund, which helps make the IE/EG program more accessible to those of lesser financial resource.