Tips if you wonder what to give
For some of us, the freedom to give comes with just a bit of anxiety: what if I give too little, or too much?
If this is the case for you, I’ve put down two tips you might find helpful. I share this in a playful spirit. There is no “right” or “wrong” amount, so take this lightly, relax, and have fun. 🙂
Tip 1: Listen to your heart (not the “shoulds”)
Here is a practice that I find helpful: the right amount is the one where I feel I’ve let my heart speak, rather than some voice of what I should be doing (anxiety often brings out the “shoulds” for me). Let me illustrate:
- If the book wasn’t what you were expecting, and you put it down after a few pages, you haven’t received much value. Don’t let a voice tell you that you should give something. Giving say $5 or even just $2 might not feel right if it comes from a feeling of obligation, if it leaves you with a just a bit of a bad taste because you’ve given when you didn’t want to give.
- If on the other hand, you’ve found the book has been interesting, important, or even inspirational, follow your heart’s generosity. There might be a voice saying it’s unreasonable to give much more than the $10 to $15 that a book usually costs. But perhaps the book has been worth much more to you. I’ve found that settling for less than my heart’s generosity also leaves me with a bit of a bad taste.
The right amount (I believe) is the one where you feel at peace with yourself, happy that you’ve let only your heart speak, unencumbered with what you should be doing.
Tip 2: Sleep on it!
Before you go to sleep tonight, decide on an amount that feels right to you, even if you are not certain you are comfortable with that amount.
Go to sleep with the expectation that when you wake up you will have clarity about the amount you want to pay.
When you wake up, go with the first amount that comes to mind and don’t second-guess yourself!
To learn more about the whole “gift economy ” concept, see Charles Eisenstein’s book, Sacred Economics.