This past week has been filled with this very strange dynamic called crowdfunding. It's my first baptismal into this world and it is unlike any other I have ever dropped into. In case you don't know, crowdfunding is as it sounds: finding funding for a project from the crowd.
But it's not like you say "I'm crowdfunding" and people say "Oh good, here's some cash." It's deeper than that. It takes lots of thinking, and planning, and orchestrating--and it takes a team! I think it would be very difficult to do this alone. Honestly, I think it would be quite lonely as well. The whole process is very intense, a lot of work, and requires all hands on deck for the 30 day period. But the whole process also demonstrates teamwork and collaboration and sharing of gifts in a remarkable kind of way.
In our case, we have a team of strong women (and one behind the scenes man who is an amazing graphic artist), each bringing a unique set of skills to the palette. All the colors swirl together, and on a daily, we see the most stunning masterpieces emerge. I am so grateful to experience this at least once in my life. What energizes me so much about the whole thing, and gets me to get out of my jammies on Sunday, to do a LIVE gab session with my co-producer Betsy Chasse (just FYI--HATE live or any video on camera actually) is my deep passion to use my voice and resources for a new conversation in youth mental health and suicide prevention. For this passion, I am willing to stretch myself into this world of crowdfunding. And for the opportunity to stretch myself, I am grateful.
Now to the money part. Money brings out interesting parts of people, and I am learning about the type of person I want to be with money each day by watching the swirl around me brought up close and personal. Even before I began, I had a person I barely knew hand me what I considered a hugely generous donation just because he believed in the cause. On the flip, I've had family members ignore me completely, other family members step up with generous multiple donations and encouragement, and some unsubscribe from my updates (without any donations or comment.) Then, I've seen donations from people who probably had to skip dinner that night to contribute, but did it anyway. I've had wealthy people who are interested in improving mental health remain oddly detached, and people I don't know send large donations. It's the strangest, most amazing swirl I've ever been in where money is concerned. For the lessons of the swirl to become a better me, I am grateful.
The weirdest part is that I studied money as energy in my practitioner studies. Yet, what you read about in books (on abundance, or giving, or money as energy idea) is nothing compared to this PhD level we call crowdfunding. Here, on this playground, we practice five tiers of gratitude. What I've noticed is the more grateful I feel, the more support pours in. I focus on the positive, what's happening instead of what's not happening, and share this gratitude (as does the whole team) with those who give to us. It's a really wonderful feeling.
What it has taught me is how important gratitude is. A few years ago, the NY Times told us that expressing gratitude can significantly improve your life and overall happiness. This week, again, an article states that people "expressing long overdue gratitude had a meaningful, positive impact for both sender and receiver." I know this for my own life to be so true. And with crowdfunding, and I can hardly wait to express gratitude to people who have donated, shared, and showed support in their own unique way. What a gift to be able to do that over and over each day. It really is something I will consciously continue to do once we are finished, if only selfishly to feel good.