Since we announced our new Soul Tribe subscription service yesterday, we’ve received some feedback via email and on Facebook asking the question, “How is it ethical to charge money for Soul Tribe? Isn’t it everyone’s birthright to be part of a Soul Tribe? How dare you exploit people’s loneliness and commoditize community? Doesn’t community require diversity, and doesn’t charging money limit diversity?” One woman said, “If you want to build a community where I share my expertise, then you need to square why your contributions are remunerated and mine are not.” These are completely valid questions—many of them without clear answers—and I want to honor them by responding to you all. Because I HEAR YOU, and I care. And trust me, this is something my team has been pondering for four years, so this is not something we have been cavalier about.

Not to deflect very potent questions, but let’s pull away from this particular Soul Tribe example and take an eagle’s eye view for a moment. Many things in our culture should be free and are not. I should not be paying $1500/month for health insurance that wouldn’t even cover a surgery consult when I was attacked by a pit bull. Health care should be a right, not a privilege enjoyed by the rich. As a doctor who was working inside the sick health care system, I should not have had to see 40 patients a day, giving me only 7 ½ minutes with a patient. I should not have had to pay $120,000 to cover my “malpractice tail” in order to escape the sick system. I should not have had to charge people $400/hour outside the system in order to be able to cover my overhead enough to prioritize time with my patients, so I could spend an hour with someone who was sick. Every sick human deserves to have their needs for love, time, attention, and healing met without concerns about money.

Health care should be free. So should friendship, mentoring, love, and guidance. Friendship and mentoring should be a gift of reciprocal care, a sacred contract between two healthy people who love and nurture and care for each other as equals and mutually benefit from the giving and receiving. Yet people are so lonely and so disconnected from intimate contact with those who carry wisdom that they pay to see therapists and hire  “life coaches” to give them what people in your Soul Tribe would give you at no cost. We have commoditized friendship and mentoring and we now pay for what elders and oracles and medicine women would have given us at no cost in a healthier society.

Our society is so sick that corruption around money has infiltrated almost everything—including, you could argue, this Soul Tribe experiment and my Visionary Mentoring Program. I will not dispute this. Trust me. Our economic system pains me in the deepest recesses of my indigenous heart. I would do anything to snap my fingers and restore us to the kind of gift economy the indigenous peoples of the world have used for millennia. If someone figures out how we can extricate ourselves from the money system altogether, I will be the first to come on board.

Yet here we are in a culture that has not embraced gift economy, and the one person I know who is trying to actually live that way can only offer his work to the world by gift economy because his wife made smart investments once upon a time and pays the bills for the family. People’s traumas and conditioning around money run deep, and we don’t yet know how to peel away from our diseased economic system.

So how do we reconcile the purity of our desire for ethical living with a corrupt system we all participate in? The integrity breach we all feed into every day eats at us all, even if we’re not aware that it does. That collective grief we all feel, especially if we’re open and sensitive, pains us, even if we’re not aware that it does.

I have become deeply aware of all these integrity breaches implicit in living in Western culture since my mother died. My grief in the wake of the loss of my mother has been a wondrous portal into the grief of us all. When you’re grieving, a door opens, and it feels terrifying to walk willingly through that door. But if you can muster up the moxie to avoid resisting this door, a portal opens as you enter. On the other side of the door lives our One Suffering—grief as a transpersonal event, grief and loss and pain as an integral part of being human. It takes you out of “my suffering” and transports you into “our suffering.” I am feeling the pain of all the indigenous peoples of the world who have been traumatized by colonization. I am feeling the agony of every #MeToo woman who thought that being a groping toy for men was just something she had to suck up in order to survive in a sick culture. I am feeling the Syrian refugees as they flee every comfort they once knew. I am feeling the horror of how capitalism and materialism and greed has consumed people, how we try to fill the hole left by the elimination for Soul Tribe with more, more, MORE, even if it means our brothers and sisters are starving and without shelter. I am feeling the agony of how the story of separation brutalizes us all—the story that says “I am separate from you, I am separate from nature, I am separate from Source. Therefore, I better just maximize self-interest and ignore the feeling I have that I should be ethical in how I live.” I am feeling the agony of the Perpetrators—the greedy corporate giants, the abusive rapists, the self-serving materialists—because that which we might prefer to judge, I am that too. I am feeling all this sorrow not as an empathic response. I feel it as my own. It belongs to us all.

There is a comfort in this, a Oneness—and with it, a deep opening to the One Heart. When you enter the pain directly, rather than sidestepping it, numbing it, denying it, or dressing it up with spiritual bypassing or positive psychology, you realize that what you most feared—that door you walked through into the Mystery of the unknown—leads you straight to Love Itself. It’s almost laughable, how afraid we are of love. Yet it’s no wonder. The unconditional love that arises from the Ground of Being will annihilate you. The separate self shatters, resisting and grieving its own loss. But if you expand your consciousness enough to hold the wild edge of your grief and resistance, Love rushes in. And then . . . oh holy wonder.

I am also discovering that grief demands Soul Tribe. So here we are, with a catch-22. I am blessed that I have a Soul Tribe of my own. One of my clients once told me I am an amazing person magnet, and she’s right. I am an amazing person magnet, and I thank God for my tribe every single hour of every single day. It is the richest blessing of my life, and I could not have survived the past two years without them. (You know who you are. I love you!) Many in my tribe live together, and others live with us in our hearts but not in our home. Some are friends. Some are blood family. Some are even clients or former clients. My Soul Tribe nourishes me, and I nourish them.

But what about all the people who don’t have even one person they feel safe to express their souls with? How do they dare to feel and alchemize the personal and collective grief that accompanies the pain and the ecstasies of being human? As Francis Weller teaches, grief requires both containment and letting go. No individual can both contain grief and let go into the vast portal of sorrow, but in a ritual circle of people who are all grieving for their individual sorrows and our collective sorrow, the circle can contain so everyone can let go.

This is part of what keeps railroading me into taking a leadership role around the inquiry surrounding Soul Tribe. The whole notion of spiritual community has been largely co-opted and corrupted by patriarchal forces in organized religions and has not been replaced with healthy alternatives. Those who have tried to gather outside organized religion have often been sucked into corrupt cultish dynamics, and abuses of power have destroyed lives in the name of such cults. This doesn’t help us.

But we NEED each other. So how do those in need of a Soul Tribe find those who are longing to express their gifts? And what do we do about the crap economic thing? How do we find one another in order to grieve together? How do we find like-minded spiritual beings with whom we can dance, sing, engage in ritual, pray, meditate, and celebrate life’s ecstasies together? The answer is “We don’t know.”

“We don’t know” could be the motto of our Soul Tribe experiment. It might fall flat on its well-intentioned face, or it might spark a global movement. We are open and curious in the face of this humble inquiry. After much heart-storming, we were intuitively guided to start this experiment as a virtual paid subscription service so that people who are interested in asking these questions and participating in this experiment can find one another and figure out what’s next.

How is it ethical to charge money for that which is our birthright? Maybe it’s not. As I said, this is an experiment, and we’re going on pure intuition and spiritual guidance here, not logic. Part of why we feel guided to charge for those who wish to participate is because I tried gathering virtual communities twice before—and I didn’t charge anything—and those communities failed. People did not take participation in these virtual communities seriously and were not committed. Plus, those communities cost me time and money, and I wound up in debt, which I realized (after years in therapy) was part of my ego’s hook into the Savior Complex. (“I’ll fix everybody’s loneliness and sacrifice my own well-being for the good of the tribe.”) Because I’m onto myself for all the ways my Savior Complex shows up, I’m going to make sure that, as a member of the Soul Tribe myself, my needs and overhead are getting met too. Mostly though, the money is meant to ask people to put “skin in the game.”

For better or for worse, as part of our messed up relationship with money, people take investments of money seriously and are motivated not to waste their money. When people fork down dough, they tend to show up and participate. When you give people something for free, they don’t think twice about saying they’ll participate and then never showing up.  Part of why clients experience such deep transformation as part of my Visionary Mentoring Program is because it costs $15,000. They put serious skin in the game, and they start making massive, courageous changes in their lives before we even do our first all-day one-on-one session together. When I used to offer mentoring at no cost, I wound up broke and people didn’t have the same results. (I don’t mean to sound defensive—because I don’t feel that way—but just in case any of you are making up a story as you read this about me as someone who is raking in the money and keeping it greedily to myself, I am now six figures in debt after a year that required me to cancel almost all of my work while I kept paying my employees, keep paying alimony, and manage the overhead of my business and the living expenses that piled up. I just inherited money from my mother, and I will be using that money to keep the mission that is my business afloat. The truth is that what I charge my clients only pays a fraction of what it costs to do my work in the world. I have turned down many offers to be rich—starring in a prime-time network television show, for example—because my soul said no. But I do still live inside our economic system, and I don’t like it any more than most of you do.)

Coming into right relationship with the exchange of gifts, services, and money is filled with paradoxes, especially in the realm of spirituality. We need not commoditize love. Yet love invites us into what the Q’eros call “ayni,” which is loosely defined as a sort of spiritual reciprocity. Money can corrupt. Yet money can also signify an exchange of energy and a demonstration of commitment. Divine Abundance knows no limits when we remove all blocks to the flow of a Divine energy. When one’s relationship to money is clear, money is just an energy form—love in the form of currency. I do believe it’s possible—but challenging—to find flow and ethics in such exchange.

That was a LOOOONG way of saying that I have taken all these lessons around Divine Abundance and scarcity and a corrupt economic system and our relationship to money, and I am trying to apply it to this Soul Tribe experiment. This Soul Tribe is so important to us that we are asking people who want to be included to commit. If there’s a way people can put skin in the game without money, I am totally open to suggestions and willing to evolve the program as people in the tribe offer feedback.

I am not in any way trying to suggest that people must pay money to participate in a Soul Tribe. If you have access to an existing Soul Tribe, or you have the means and gifts to attract and create your own Soul Tribe outside the money system, by all means—please do so! And please tell me what you learn—what works, what doesn’t. I will happily broadcast what others have learned on my blog, and perhaps my Soul Tribe experiment will become irrelevant at that point.

I also hear those who are saying that any paid relationship is not equal and is necessarily hierarchical—and I challenge this—but I do so from a place of not knowing. Yes, it’s true that in our sick culture, many people see those who pay them as lower on the totem pole. The doctor may “look down” on the patient. The therapist may see the client as inherently weaker or less than equal or mentally dysfunctional. The disciple may see the guru as some sort of projected perfection, while the disciple is still learning to move beyond the ego.

But what if there’s another way? What if we are all equal? What if some are in leadership positions but without hierarchy? What if some people are the queen bees of the hive, but the queen bees are not special or more valuable than the worker bees or the drones, if everyone in the hive has equal value and contributes collectively to the health of the hive?

How do we do this? How do we break down these elements of our sick culture while we’re still living within it and to some degree, at its mercy? We don’t know. We are in “the space between stories” in this inquiry and it will necessarily be messy. So please bear with me in the messy.

With all that, if you feel like you are meant to be part of this Soul Tribe experiment, and you can afford it, and you wish to financially contribute to keeping my writing business alive, and it feels aligned with your integrity to pay to participate, we sincerely welcome you into the Mystery of this inquiry.

Learn more or sign up here.

For those who choose not to participate, I have already written more than half a book’s worth of content about Soul Tribes. I’m sure this experiment will teach me more. So maybe one day, whatever wisdom emerges from this experiment will be available in a book. I’m sure I’ll also be blogging about it, and my blogs, as well as my Daily Flames, TEDx talks, meditation CDs, and many ebooks available as “opt-ins” on different websites, are always free.

Please feel free to share your constructive feedback about this inquiry here in the comments. (And please DON’T hit reply to this email and comment back to Pearl. I don’t read those emails, but I do read every comment on the blog.)

I love you and am so grateful you are already part of this blog community.

Much love to you all,

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49 Comments

  1. Ken Jaques

    Hello my dear friend,

    I’ve been watching your Soul Tribe discussion very closely, and saw your latest blog regarding the concept of paying to be part of the Tribe. I read the post very carefully and felt like I was sitting right beside you when you talked about the 2 online communities not working out, after all I was part of one of them and may have also been part of the second one as well.

    I want to share some thoughts, not to get you to change anything, but maybe to get you to look at things just a wee bit differently.

    Dr. Robin Youngson

    Do you remember Dr. Robin Youngson from New Zealand, introduced to you by Dr. Bruce Lipton? At the time you and I were talking about HHCN, Robin and his wife were doing something similar with Hearts in Health Care, an online community to bring compassion back to health care. Bruce heard from both of you and made the virtual connection. I have since connected with Robin and Meredith a few times and consider them a distant part of my Soul Tribe.

    Robin posted several times about how difficult it is to get people engaged, and he switched platforms a couple times to try to get things to work. He had the same issues where nobody would pay, and he often shared his frustration with the initiative and I’m sure he probably considers it a failure. Sound familiar?

    Robin and Gift Economy

    I tried finding Robin’s post but was unable to. Robin was speaking all over the world about bringing compassion to health care, and he wrote a couple of books. Similar to you, he often talked about the financial side of things not working out according to plan. He tried an experiment where he talked about the concept of a “gift economy”, and had people pay what they could for his speaking engagements and books. If I remember correctly, he even did a TEDx talk (httpss://youtu.be/jTYSzLtbYTU). I think this has been more successful for him.

    Ken Jaques (that’s me)

    Sharing your frustration with HHCN, I have continued to talk to people about “Healthy Communities”, essentially Soul Tribes. I have had people on the edge of their seat as I describe what Healthy Communities would look like around the world. I was recently contacted by someone who is trying to use the Blue Zones concepts to create communities of health. It seems like whenever someone uses the phrase Healthy Community in our area, people ask them if they know Ken Jaques.

    As I pored over HHCN, I kept wondering why it failed. I thought there were a few features missing from the platform, so I created a prototype using a different platform, tying in the features that I felt were missing. I got some good feedback, had about 60 – 80 people sign up (after I personally begged all but one of them), but it never really took off. I’m still paying monthly hosting fees, I can resonate with this being considered a failure.

    My Calling

    I have often believed that my calling was to bring these Soul Tribes together in a much bigger way. Whenever I’ve looked deep within, this message seems clear. But how? And when?

    A Different Lens

    What if we step back from thinking of these things as failures and simply look at them as parts of our journeys? What if we needed to see the difficulties associated with something that seems so obvious, something that many people are obviously seeking? What if they are not failures, but rather things in their infancy, not quite growing up the way we thought they would? What if all we’re missing is the engagement piece? What if all of these lessons (AFGO’s – Another Frigging Growth Opportunity) have lead us to this perfect place, right here, right now?

    What if there’s an angel (investor, philanthropist, or something else) that wants to have their legacy be to inspire the creation of these global Soul Tribes? What if we (or you) just have to ask?

    I don’t know what this is but when I first saw the title of your post about creating your Soul Tribe, the first thought that popped into my mind was “it’s time”.

    I have no idea if any of this will resonate with you. I’m happy to chat with you about any of this.

    Reply
  2. aubrey

    I have a soul tribe myself that I charge money for; I’m offering coaching, expertise, and value and like you said- I want people to value it and participate. I support what you are doing 100%. We do live in a world where money is a “thing” and we have to support and take care of ourselves as healers. I’ve loved and benefited from ALL of your books and have shared them with my “soul tribe” so please know that what you are doing is making a difference!

    Reply
    • Nellie

      Dear Lissa, first of all, I really appreciate your work. My first idea, while reading this article,was,why don’t you keep it more simple?I am sure,that people who want to connect, will and have to do so by themselves. You could use your blog to offer a link or a page, where people can register with announcing their hometown or even their country ( I live in Germany). People who are truly interested,could find themselves and take responsibilty! Lots of Love and merry Christmas Nellie

      Reply
      • Lissa_Rankin

        That’s what I did in 2009…I thought it was a great idea. It cost nothing. It failed…

        Reply
  3. Karen Renee

    I appreciate the way you phrased it here. I would have felt less conflicted from the start if you’d explained that soul tribe members are committing to support your mission financially (so you can keep doing what you do) with the primary benefit listed as joining a supportive community.

    I and many others do want to support your work … full stop. (Think of the Patreon model here, for example.) If there’s an additional benefit, then even better! I personally feel it’s important to the world that you continue to have the energy to create articles, books, and videos of free content on top of the paid work you do.

    For myself, as a beginner life coach and non-business-minded artist, I find the price of this particular model far too high. If I could exchange my artwork for membership I would.

    (One idea would be creating a custom image meant to be sold on t-shirts and other gift items. I’d trade a year’s license to your business for the chance to participate. Of course, that would only be useful if you had a gift store of some kind where you could sell such contributions, but you get the picture.)

    Again, thank you for the explanation of the thoughts behind this opportunity. I appreciate your willingness to open up and acknowledge that it’s a work in progress.

    Reply
  4. Michaela

    Dear Lissa,

    just last night I was talking with my husband about one experience (of many) that I had made when attending your MoM Teacher Training in San Diego last year: I felt the sense of belonging. I felt home in a way of having found (some of) my soul tribe. And yet I live in Germany, which happens to be quite a distance away from your area, right? So I kept asking myself the question what is this supposed to teach me, what was I supposed to do with this experience of (finally) having met people I do feel connected to on a deep soul level and yet living in different countries? How could we as members of a soul tribe possibly share hugs, sing and dance together, sit around a bon fire or do cuddle puddles when living in different countries? When I asked this question to my husband the other night he said: „Maybe it is part of your purpose to build up a soul tribe like this on your own right here in Germany were you live?“ On the very next day you sent your e-mail telling us about your soul tribe experiment. Talk about divine timing. It felt like a huge „YES“ to me. And yet there was one thing which kept me awake all night and finally urged me to get up at 2am in the morning and write to you. Let me share my experiences on charging money for joining a community: A couple of years ago two courageous women who were teaching the divine feminine intended to create a kind of soul tribe here in Germany which they called „Real Women“. The idea was to create a tribe of women who share visions, who could share wisdom and stories, who could support each other and connect to create with the power of the feminine. And they had women pay in order to really commit and for all the other reasons you mentioned, too. So what happened? After about two years there were a handful of women wholeheartedly giving and serving this community. And there were more than a hundred women just paying and taking out of this community whatever they could and making demands. The majority of members just payed and expected the founders to serve. This „Real Women“ soul tribe experiment had left the founders (and a handful of other women who had also committed) depleted, frustrated and exploited. So after two years they closed down the community.

    It does not seem like a question that is to be solved easily. Making people pay money does not automatically mean they also commit. Instead it rather can lead to an inner attitude such as „I pay, so you serve.“, „I paid money, that’s enough.“ or „I pay so you solve my problems (cause that’s what I am paying for)“ or even „The more I pay the more I can chicken out.“

    And self worth is another aspect here, too. What does it tell you if you have to pay a certain amount of money first before you can join a soul tribe or a circle of friends? What if you cannot afford to pay such an amount of money and yet you would love to join in, because your soul is shouting out a big „YES“? What if this amount of money is even oh so little and yet you still cannot afford it? What does this do to your self worth? It tells you that you are not worth it. At. All. It tells you that you are „not enough“. It tells you that you are a total loser not being able to even afford a tiny small amount. It lets your self worth shrink even more tinyer.

    I was so happy to read your blog post about this question, because I wholeheartedly agree. Some further thoughts on this I love to share with you: If we make joining a soul tribe a business of the „pay and buy“ kind, this carries the energy of „I payed for it, so I bought it, so I HAVE it, so I own it.“ Because that’s what we usually do with things we buy, right? But a soul tribe is not about HAVING, it’s not about possesing or owning or ordering and getting. It’s rather about BEING part of a soul tribe. And BEING part of a soul tribe includes commitment and the giving and the receiving – without the need to add up the profits or play „guilt games“.

    When I first read your invitation for this soul tribe experiment I got a clear „YES“ that I would love to join in and see what we can create together within the first year. I felt a very happy and joyful excitement, curious and open like a child for what we might create. And yet I knew right away, too, that I would not be able to afford the yearly fee (since I have faced similar challenges like having not been able to work for almost a whole year etc., so I can very much relate). And I know that I will keep up my self worth this time. I know that there is so much that I can offer, even if money may not yet be on the top of this list.

    So here are some of my ideas: How about if people who would love to commit for a year, but are not able to pay the yearly fee in one sweep, could pay by monthly installments and still getting the 20% discount when committing for a whole year? Or/and: People could offer their cooperation and offer their expertise (like I could do german/english translations, I could share my wisdom as a therapist and healer or share my experiences living a different country, I am very good at organizing… etc.) Maybe you (and the organizing team) could set up something like a virtual pin board where you could write down what kind of help might be needed in order to create and fill this soul tribe with life, so people who might not be better off financially could find something they can give into the community?

    Love to share thoughts with you.

    With love and blessings,
    Michaela

    Reply
  5. bob banner

    thank you thank you thank you!!!!! Ive been struggling with this challenge for decades and finally have heard an intelligent voice share deeply. thank you Lissa and hugs to you.. love your book as well.. and will share with others.. Also, Ive been involved with gifting economy, time bank. SLO (like Ithaca) HOURS [creating our own local currency] and others and am finally seeing and tasting that my gift needs to be given regardless of any type of economy especially when its in transition.. I need to give my gift and work on the side to make ends meet, like washing windows which I love to do so I can give my enthusiastic heart to what Im being called to do which is to screen transformational and solutionary documentaries with conversations afterwards.. lets not wait for the rEvolution to occur.. lets make it happen daily!!!!

    Reply
    • Eva Ruppel

      I am happy that you still have time to wash windows, I would love to have that too, but I don’t and I don’t think Lissa has

      Reply
  6. Jodi M

    I have to say I am one of the people very turned off by your offer. I get the need to charge money but I think the amount is awfully expensive. The same thing happened to me a couple of years ago with your $15,000 coach offering. I quit following you at that time but for some reason your emails started coming through again. I read a couple of them and here I am at the same unfortunate conclusion. Obviously your soul tribe is made up of wealthy individuals and not meant for me. I really do wish you the best of luck. I think this work is desperately needed.

    Reply
  7. Roger D

    Lissa, I have been following your journey for years and appreciate your openness and honesty. Your sharing has been of benefit to me and I am sure many others. I in return have tried to be there for others.. I have tried to give back to others.. I find the monetizing of a spiritual practice a difficult concept. In traditional religious organizations.. the spiritual leader is supported by the congregation, the community. I have trouble with the method… I think if you collected contributions, such as an offering plate in the church.. then that would work .. people can give what the can afford and give in response to what they receive so it can be carried forward.. I wish you the best on your journey ..

    Reply
  8. sandy

    Hi: So it seems to me that when designing an on-line project such as this, you are putting loving and thoughtful energy in to it whether there are 30 people attending or 3,000 people. If the intention is to create deep, caring, Soul Tribes and as many as possible, seems to keep monetary issue as fluid as possible would be helpful,
    I understand that sometimes when people sign-up and it’s free, they feel it is easy to drop out, verses having made an investment. So…I’ve shared this concept before with Lissa and with other groups doing on-line retreats, classes etc. Consider having sign-ups sliding scale. There are some of us that may be able to contribute $59 a month and spend that much monthly on latte’s! For others, that $59 needs to go to rent or food. So, if you have $5 – $59 a month, $15 – $159 etc. allowing people to look within and understand either their extra access to resources or just holding their own, can be a way to both be within the unfortunate money system and also allow the flexibility needed for more people to participate.
    Spirit Rock has sliding scale and scholarships for their classes. I’ve done non-profit fundraiser events that are sliding scale. We want everyone from the community to be able to attend, not just those that can afford the $150 tickets. Example: Please consider contributing per ticket what you would spend for a special occasion evening of dinner and entertainment. We priced the tickets $25-50, $50-75, $75 – 100, $100-150. We ended up with about 25% of our guests buying tickets in each price range. (We also comped some tickets).
    So, be creative, be fluid, be inclusive and still cover your rent and web overhead costs. The more the merrier when spreading and receiving love – expand the economic participation range 😉 Much love, Sandy

    Reply
    • Kirsten Durward

      I love this advice Sandy, thank you so much, it has helped me with developing my own concept, something I was confused with a little. I’m all too aware of economic necessities for the full time transition I am planning. But I have struggled with how to charge as I know so many people on the lower end of the scale, particularly as I have spent most of my life in the developing world and I know so many people who have annual incomes less than most people’s monthly ones. Who live in communities where every dollar is going towards someone’s education, someone’s health care, someone’s need in one way or another. It perturbed me that I would be excluding people. I’ve broken my heart over former spiritual teachers who now wont accept anything less than 200 USD an hour for their time. So I am going to take this ‘pay what you can afford concept and make it a little more transparent to appeal to the conscious souls who are economically stable. That those paying more will be directly contributing to subsidising places for those who are more economically challenged. Thanks again!

      Reply
      • sandy

        Hi Kristen:
        I’m so happy to hear that this idea has been helpful to you. Sometimes we share ideas and never know if it has sparked something in someone or provided some additional creative thoughts. I appreciate you replying to my post. I wish you all the best in your own concept you are working on. Be well.
        Much love, Sandy – Please feel free to share this idea of sliding scale far and wide.

        Reply
  9. Eva Ruppel

    thank you Lissa for this, I know that you have done your homework and what you share is totally genuine and comes from a very pure heart

    Reply
  10. Katherine

    This is a valuable discussion and I appreciate your thoughtfulness Lissa and those who are participating in the discussion. I follow your writings Lissa and value your insights and guidance. I am spending many hours a week on other spiritual classes, guidance and meditation with a teacher and group and I would find it unsciousable not to support my teacher. For this reason it’s not timely for me to join this tribe at this time. However, the thought that your service and leadership would not result in the tribe supporting you seems unjust and naive. How can it even be a question but that you be offered support for your time, energy, leadership and all that you have done and will continue to do in your own personal growth to be be a healer, teacher and guide.

    I think other systems of exchange need to be explored when they can be. I would love to do trades but I practice as a mental health professional and it is unethical and illegal for me to do trades or be involved in dual relationships. I have thought long and hard about supporting myself by helping those who suffer emotionally and mentally and at some level it is troubling. At another level I bring education, experience. expertise and a whole lot of love and openheartedness to every session. This is my contribution to the healing of the world and in turn I am supported. There is a balance and while it is not perfect it is the system I and many of us must operate in at this point in history.

    Maybe new ways can be explored as the tribe unfolds. I am sad and know that it is true that two dollars a day is too hard for some people to afford. Perhaps those more able could offer sponsorships even something as small as paying an extra five dollars a month? Perhaps some can commit to pay one extra month a year? I pray for more dialogue and insight and thank you Lissa for the extraordinary cntirbutions you make to our world. I have purchased two of your books but everything else from you has been free and I am ever in debt to you!

    Reply
  11. Lesley

    It is unfortunate that people are reluctant to pay for something of benefit. If they bought a sweater they would not expect to walk out of the shop without paying but they don’t want to pay for time, experience and love. I’m afraid that people’s reluctance to pay shows just how sick society has become. Lots of people are enticed by freebies.

    Michael Tellinger who is doing the fantastic Unbutu movement has said the same. You can’t work within a monetary system and not charge, or the only thing you get is debt. He has also had to raise funds to get his project off of the ground.

    I’m afraid it’s pay up or if you can, start your own group for free. I attend a spiritual group and have to pay petrol to get there and my share of the room fee, why should online be any different?

    Reply
    • Cynthia Hanna

      Thanks, Lesley! I so appreciate your words, the food for thought, and felt called to respond,

      It is not necessarily, or always, a matter of reluctance or an inability to honor others’ creations, etc. For me, it’s simply a matter of not having the financial resources. And I’m sure that that would hold true for many others. When I have had the resources I have chosen to support fair trade, bought handmade as much as possible, and ate nothing but organics. I was able to use my finances to gift others for their work and loved doing so.
      But, for now, I am more in survival mode and living paycheck to paycheck because of health issues and disabilities. I feel blessed to still be able to do work that I love, and to be able to gift my love, my time and my talents to my community, but I don’t have extra to gift for things outside myself that would feed my soul.
      I love what Lissa has written and, while I may not have the financial means to join, I will support her work in ways that are available to me – even if it just consists of sending her light and love. And I’ll be asking for the guidance of Divine Will in finding my Soul Tribe, whether it will be in this community or another. May we all find our Soul Tribes and transform ourselves and the world around us!

      Reply
  12. Michaela

    Hi Lissa, I am just wondering what happpened to my comment (which I had posted about 6 hours ago)? Has it been deleted or is it just no longer visible due to technical reasons? Love, Michaela

    Reply
    • Lissa_Rankin

      I don’t know Michaela…I didn’t see it come in…must have gotten sucked into the cosmic vortex. Sorry not to read it!

      Reply
      • Michaela

        Dear Lissa, sending my comment again:

        Just last night I was talking with my husband about one experience (of many) I have made when attending your MoM Teacher Training in San Diego last year: I felt a sense of belonging. I felt home in a way of having found my soul tribe. And yet I live in Germany, which happens to be quite a distance away from your area. So I kept asking myself what this was all about. How could we as members of a soul tribe possibly share hugs, sing and dance together, sit around a bon fire or do cuddle puddles when living in different countries with an ocean between us? The answer I got was: Maybe it is part of your purpose to build up a soul tribe like this right here in Germany were you live?! On the very next day – this morning – I found your e-mail about your soul tribe experiment in my inbox. Talk about divinde timing. It felt like a huge „YES“ to me. And yet there was one thing which kept me thinking all night and finally urged me to get up at 2am in the morning and write to you: Do people necessarily have to pay money first before they are allowed to join in?

        Let me share some of my experiences on this: A couple of years ago two courageous women who were teaching the divine feminine intended to create a kind of soul tribe which they called „Real Women“. The idea was to create a tribe of women who share visions, who could share wisdom and stories, who could support each other and connect to create with the power of the feminine. And they, too, made women pay in order to really commit and for all the other reasons you mentioned, too. What happened? After about two years there were about a handful of women giving into this community. And more than hundred women just paying and taking out of this community. The majority of members just payed and expected the founders to serve. This whole „Real Women“ soul tribe experiment had left the founders (and a handful other women who had also committed) depleted, frustrated and exploited. So after two years they closed down the community.

        Making people pay money does not automatically mean they also commit. Instead it could lead to an inner attitude such as „I pay, so you serve.“, „I paid money, that’s enough.“ or „I pay so you solve my problems (cause that’s what I am paying for)“ or even „The more I pay the more I can chicken out.“

        And self worth is another aspect here, too. What does it tell you if you have to pay a certain amount of money first before you can join a soul tribe or a community of friends? What if you cannot afford to pay such an amount of money and yet you would love to join in, because your soul is shouting out a big „YES“? What if this amount of money is even oh so little and yet you still cannot afford it? What does this tell your self worth? It tells you that you are not worth it. It tells you that you are „not enough“. It tells you that you are a total loser not being able to even afford a tiny small amount. It lets your self worth shrink even more tinyer.

        I was happy to read your blog post about whether it is ethical to charge money to participate in a soul tribe, because I wholeheartedly agree. Some further thoughts on this: If we make joining a soul tribe a business of the „pay and buy“ kind, it tends to carry the energy of „I payed for it, so I bought it, so I HAVE it, so I own it.“ Because that’s what we usually do with things we buy, right? A soul tribe is not about HAVING, it’s not about possesing or owning or ordering and getting. It’s rather about BEING part of a soul tribe. And BEING part of a soul tribe includes commitment and giving and receiving – without the need to add up the profits or play „guilt games“.

        I got a clear „YES“ that I would love to join in and see what we can create together within the first year. And yet I knew right away, too, that I would not be able to afford the yearly fee (since I have faced similar challenges like having not been able to work for almost a whole year etc., so I can very much relate).

        And yet this time I will keep up my self worth. I know that there is much that I can offer, even if money may not yet be on the top of such a list. So let me share some of my ideas: People who would love to commit let’s say for a year, but are not able to pay the yearly fee in one sweep, could pay by monthly installments still getting the 20% discount when committing for a whole year. Or/and: People could offer their cooperation and offer their expertise (for example I could do german/english translations, share my wisdom and expertise as a therapist & healer, I am very good at organizing, etc…). Maybe the organizing team could set up something like a virtual pin board with suggestions what kind of help might be needed in order to create, so people who might not be better off financially could find something they can give into the community?

        Love to share thoughts with you on this, Michaela

        Reply
        • Lissa_Rankin

          Thank you for all your reflections! I am part of a Soul Tribe that meets every Sunday morning for “Sweat Your Prayers,” a dance church. I pay $22/week just to participate and I don’t blink an eye to be part of this. I would never expect it to be free- and I also don’t expect the leaders to do anything but play the music and hold the space…

          My parents found their Soul Tribe in the Methodist Church. They did as they were told and tithed 10% of their income as part of giving back and supporting their Soul Tribe. My Dad made over $300,000/year and he double-tithed to the two churches in two different states that he attended. So that was $60,000/year to the church.

          Why do we get so hung up about this? It’s clearly an issue we’ll tackle in this first group of Soul Tribe experimenters!

          Reply
          • Michaela

            Dear Lissa, as I said I wholeheartedly agree with you on this matter. My suggestions meant those who would love to join and commit, but just cannot afford it even if costs are little. And no matter what we do, whether we charge money or not, there will always be those who commit and those who don’t.

  13. JAYALEKSHMI s

    That’s some real Kaliesque boundary making and owning your power, yet it came from such Love! I am sorry to know that your finances are in trouble, you who offer such beautiful service to the world….Love to you, Lissa! May all your endeavours perforate Divine more into the world! and May you never ever have to give a thought over the wells going dry, May you find in you reservoirs to accept God’s bounty always!

    At the same time, may I add one thing. Try, if it is financially feasible, to offer scholarships that might help those who genuinely cannot afford to be part of the programs/courses you offer.

    Reply
  14. Mariotta Cuthbertson

    When I read the about the Soul Tribe it sounded beautiful and I so hoped by the time I got to the end of the article that it would be free or small one off payment. Sadly it is not and I decided to unsubscribe. I didn’t get round to it and saw another email pop into my box. My interest was piqued because it seems that others had felt like I did and then I tried to read the very lengthy response, but I gave up. Everyone must do what feels right but for me it makes me so very sad. Now I can unsubscribe.

    Reply
  15. Cassi Taylor

    I absolutely loved your response here as it was crafted with a mindful heart. I have been following your work for a few years and when you had offered your Soul Tribe retreat in October, I was thrilled and wanted to be a part of it. However, I was already committed with paying up front for a series of heart centered therapy workshops so was unable to make the one you had planned. Then I read with your being called to help your mother pass, which I am so sorry for your loss there and that you had to cancel. I wondered when and how and if you would continue the soul tribe project. I came to my awakening to my spirit, almost seventeen years ago through a traumatic plane crash which left me dealing with burn injuries and having the grief of loss of skin, beauty, family, friends and what was my soul tribe for the first half of my life. I have been on a singular journey since and have come a long way but the missing piece is a group of more evolved souls that are like minded and can nuture one another. I have found people all over the globe over the years at retreats, conferences but keeping all in contact has been difficult. I was feeling so grateful when I read about your online mentoriing group and am looking forward to it. The price program is structured in my opinion so that people can have a buy in at a rate they can afford. With much love…

    Reply
  16. Babs42

    I’m deeply astounded that anyone would question why someone would charge money for their time, effort, expertise, web presence, overhead, etc.
    Not every thing/place/program/service is for everyone. If something resonates deeply enough for me, I figure it out. As to affordability, that concept seems to be in the eye of the beholder. As a seasoned and physician recommended Bodywork therapist, I have experienced people wheedling and sometimes outright whining at my fee for service. Yes, it is at the upper end of what is charged for my area, but then again, I have over two decades of experience and a hundred thousand dollars or so in continuing ed to elevate my offerings and provide consistent support in and out of the treatment room. These same people who complain I’m unaffordable often open their Loius Vuitton bag to reach for their matching walled to extract a platinum card and return to their Mercedes in the parking lot. Some clients humbly and repeatedly thank me for helping them and clearly, it was a reach to manage payment. Who receives the greater results on a consistent basis? The one who embraced the experience, had an attitude of gratitude, and a heartfelt smile. They soak the work in like a sponge and reap the rewards much more easily than those who clearly disapprove of my right to be compensated.
    An examination of one’s belief in lack as regards the Soul Tribe may be in order. Money is a currency, like electricity. In some cultures it has no meaning whatsoever. You could give a tribesman in a remote area all your life’s savings thinking you are helping him, and it would be used for fire starter. There are no shortages of grains of sand on the beach, or molecules of oxygen in the air, but we have convinced ourselves that green paper is scarce and those who have lots of it, or aspire to amass some so they can better serve more people, are somehow greedy, corrupt or unaligned. That’s kinda, at the risk of sounding judgy, judgy.
    I do not receive a sliding scale at the electric company, hairdresser, car dealership or restaurants. Why is it a belief that sole and soul practitioners, predominantly women, should offer it up and do without? Is having fewer resources, not being able to meet overhead, lying awake nights worrying how to make the bills so we are exhausted in life and unable to be present for ourselves and our clients in alignment with what we do? Of course not.
    Lissa, I commend you for what you do. I do not always agree with your writings, but I don’t have to. I respect your efforts and your Daily Flames have lit me up for years. (I do prefer the shorter ones.) I hope your a Tribe is a success and as you know, the souls that are ready to be there will be there. Blessings.

    Reply
    • Peggy Joan

      Babs, you are spot on! I have very little money, but of course, Lissa should be paid for this class! I don’t want to argue, but I feel very defensive of this amazing teacher. I have all her books, but I have reaped the benefits of the immeasurable wisdom she offers at zero cost. For me, it IS about prioritizing, and I can’t wait!!!

      Reply
  17. Susanne Spencer Duato

    Lissa, I read your blog above late last night and felt overcome to tell you stay strong and stay on point!! Your work is mindful, soulful, intelligent, thought provoking and all over inspiring. As a successful business owner, nutritionist I can tell you sincerely that i am HAPPY to support you and the other members of your soul tribe. I know that doing great work takes time, energy and resources. Part of being in a soul tribe to me, is supporting the good work of the others who ADD VALUE to the larger whole. You need to know that many of us are in your corner happy to support the great work you are doing. I would think that most people know that to keep creating a great program, service and offering it must FIRST be sustainable for you!! Without that, you will not be able to do it, and for that we all suffer. I just wanted to say keep going!

    In terms of offering up options for others to be a part of, and contribute to the collective soul of the tribe. I would offer up the option of charging a little more!!!
    which I would absolutely be willing to pay, so that some of those funds can be used for defraying the costs for others who want to be a part of this unconditionally.

    With much love, Susanne

    Reply
    • Peggy Joan

      What Suzanne said. 🙂 And I believe it is important to repeat: I don’t have a lot of money, and Lissa generously offers tons of invaluable free materials!

      Reply
  18. Peggy Joan

    My soul friend and I are joining Soul Tribe after deciding to take a long break from FB, Twitter and all news due to feeling ill ever since November 8. I spend my days feeling furious and fearful over the damage 45 is doing to my beloved country. SO, Soul Tribe is my perfect beautiful kismet!

    And for those who think Lissa should offer Soul at no cost, there are oodles of wonderful life-changing articles under Free Products. I don’t have a lot of money, but this is Lissa’s livelihood, and of course she should charge! I am giving this to myself as a Christmas gift and am über excited!

    Peace and love,
    Peggy #Metoo

    Reply
  19. SoulRiser

    Another problem with setting specific prices is that while the price might be perfectly affordable to someone in say the US, it may be prohibitively expensive to someone in South Africa. $60 is kind of a big deal here. I think $60 a month was about the minimum wage here a few years ago. Also, your $1500 per month for health insurance is more than 4 times the rent I pay for a whole house here… lol. $1500 a month is a really, really nice monthly income to have in South Africa. The kind where if you tell people how much you get, it seems like bragging.

    I can totally relate to trying to run a caring community and having it fail miserably though. I don’t really have any solutions for that. Asking them to pay wouldn’t have worked in my case anyway, because most of the members would be under 18, and not legally allowed to control their own money, if they even have any.

    Reply
  20. JTT

    I appreciate you writing this because i have to admit when I saw the email about a soul tribe, I was ecstatic, but then I saw where it cost, and I felt deflated. I feel guilty spending that kind of money on myself when my family is in need of other things, so once again – my needs go to the wayside. That being said – I completely understand why you charge for, the time, and energy it takes to organize etc. I think someone mentioned below possible donations? Maybe there are those out there that can afford more than another? Thank you again for all of your love and writing. I truly adore your translucence!

    Reply
  21. Lissa_Rankin

    Wow, you all. I so appreciate your candid and heartfelt reflections. In response to what some of you have posted, let me say that this time- and every time we’ve done something scalable like a teleclass which doesn’t require bodies in the room- we have offered scholarships and discounts to those who make a clear and heartfelt request. We don’t advertise that we do this because so many people are in a scarcity mentality, and if we broadcast that you can participate for less money, many of those people who drive big SUVs and down their Starbucks lattes every morning and go to spas with their girlfriends will ask for a scholarship because they just don’t prioritize something like this. It’s hard to screen for that in the virtual setting. So we require an application process for scholarships. I even scholarship on Visionary Mentoring Client per year (my intuition always chooses this person. Usually it is someone who I have previously met in a workshop. And just so people don’t ask, this year’s scholarship is already taken by a young woman who is struggling with cancer.)

    I am appreciating all the other suggestions about sliding scales and such. I don’t have much experience with this kind of model. Usually when I’ve worked somewhere that sliding scales are an option, those institutions are getting at least part of their funding from other sources- fundraising, government grants, etc. So it raises the question- can we get funding from other sources and then offer this program at a lower cost or at a sliding scale? This is certainly a possibility.

    We also talked AT LENGTH about making the Soul Tribe project a non-profit organization which could benefit from fund-raising and donations. I talked to my mentor Rachel Naomi Remen who has run a non-profit for her work in the world for the past 40 years, and she highly recommended against doing so, simply because the bureaucracy of non-profits is so constricting. When I felt into how it would feel to run a non-profit on top of my other businesses, I felt dread and a pit in my stomach. So I threw out that idea- at least for now. Maybe someone else will spearhead that and I will just hand the idea over to another visionary.

    Regarding pricing, we structured our pricing by modeling it on what other people are charging for similar kinds of programs- and what we normally charge for our online programs. When we do an 8 module teleclass, for example, the price is $297. This program will include 24 teleclasses per year, and the one year price is about $500- so we considered that a relative value/discount compared to the teleclass programs we teach.

    I also hear that for some of you, $6/month would be too much, and that makes this program exclusive and available only to the relatively wealthy. I hear that. And I hate that. I hear that those in other countries have very different exchange rates- and I don’t know how to reconcile that.

    I love the suggestions some of you made about letting those with more funds fund those with less. Or accepting donations into a scholarship fund from those who want to help those with less funding participate.

    Part of what we intended with this is just to START. Just begin with whoever can afford to sign up- and then modify from there. So in a way, this is already beginning the process. Trust me, one of the first things I will discuss with those who have already signed up is this issue!

    I so so so appreciate all your feedback.

    Much love
    Lissa

    Reply
  22. Gloria Scoonover

    Hi, I have been following you for awhile and I do appreciate the things that you have done which are accessible to all. I have been frustrated at times by wanting to be a part of an in person workshop but not being able to afford it. I feel called to find my soul tribe. The circumstances of life have found me counting dollars each month and at times even overdrawing my checking account to get through: no frills! This longing that I feel for soul connection and support is powerful but no matter how committed I am, I am unable to afford to join your subscription service. Is there some kind of work that I could do to support your organization remotely (from Minnesota) in exchange for the subscription? I would love to work out something like that. Thanks for your consideration.

    Gloria S

    Reply
    • Lissa_Rankin

      I hear you Gloria. Email Pearl@LissaRankin.com. Tell her your story (or reprint what you wrote here and let her know I told you to reach out.

      Big hugs & wishes for more financial ease…
      Lissa

      Reply
      • Gloria Scoonover

        Thanks Lissa for your quick response. I have forwarded our exchange to Pearl.

        Gloria

        Reply
  23. Lissa_Rankin

    I love this response! It doesn’t feel in the wheelhouse of my calling to take leadership around the consciousness and money piece, but I highly recommend Charles Eisenstein’s work around Sacred Economics, as well as Sonya Amrita’s work with Divine Abundance. I have enough callings on my own and I don’t feel the passion or need to take on this piece. We all have our roles in the Soul Tribe!

    Reply
  24. batchannel

    Those that have had an abundance-based mindset have no problem with this, but those with a scarcity-based mindset have the most trouble.
    Even when they transition to having money, the old mindset has a hold. This is why people with the most money ALSO have the hardest time with this if they have never transitioned their mindset to match their new reality.

    One thing you might consider building in is a series of questions to each participant as part of the joining process: What is this worth to you personally? How did you come to this valuation? What would you need to give up to have this? If you knew a percentage of what you contribute would go to supplement those who can less afford to give something up, would that make this feel more fair? And then perhaps a “pay what you can, pay what you should” model would develop that made people value this according to their actual means while allowing you to have more flexibility in economic accommodations. The value proposition here is that it will help those that have the means but are stuck in a scarcity-based mindset to feel good about this contribution. Maybe a series of free posts on the scarcity versus abundance mindsets would get this conversation started?

    Reply
  25. Brenon

    I see Soul Tribe as coming in parts. I live in a mobile home park. Some of my neighbors are a soul tribe for me. Another Soul tribe is A Course in Miracles class. Another is a large community garden. Another is a few friends at the YMCA. Then there are a few family members up north. And so on.
    This is the first place I’ve lived that I’ve really put down roots. And it’s taken some years to get to know people and establish my version of a soul tribe.

    Reply
  26. Aliza Hakimian

    Lissa,
    Thank you so much for your openness and including us (your fans and virtual connections) in your process. I am an American family physician working in Israel and after I read Mind over Medicine, I became extremely interested in your work and decided to really focus on asking people about their lives and about their traumas and what might be causing their health imbalances and about their health beliefs. (I knew these things to be tremendous factors in a persons health imbalances and in their healing from other teachers like Dean Ornish and others in Mind Body Medicine and you wrote about it really beautifully and crystallized and clarified a lot which I knew to be true.) I am writing all of this because it is related to asking for money for a Soul Tribe. I am wondering if you still practice as a physician and offer private sessions to patients in which to you practice the kind of medicine you describe in Mind over Medicine. As I try to practice medicine in a way that feels sincere to me, and in an attempt to address root cause medicine, I am curious whether the approach that you describe in Mind over Medicine works. I am wondering if you practice the kind of medicine that you describe in Mind over Medicine, and if you do, if that practice can not be lucrative enough to subsidize the Soul Tribe. If you dont currently practice medicine, I wondering why not. (I dont mean assembly line medicine in the sick care system I mean whether you practice the kind of medicine that you describe in Mind over Medicine.) When I read about you not having enough money, it makes me question whether the model that I understood MInd over Medicine to be proposing is, in fact, viable. Thank you for your work and sending you lots of love, Aliza

    Reply
    • Lissa_Rankin

      Hi Aliza. Nice to meet a fellow healer! Glad my work touched you and resonated. I have not practiced clinical medicine since I closed my practice in 2010. I had to choose between being an author/keynote speaker/workshop leader who travels all over the planet doing my work and running a practice. Yes, Mind Over Medicine works. I wrote it based on my work with patients. But I was losing money because I was paying the overhead of a space and employee salaries, and I had just done a 30 city book tour and hadn’t generated any revenue in three months. I could have gone that route- being a full time doctor who practices Mind Over Medicine. But writing is my true joy, so I chose the other fork in the road.

      Reply
      • Aliza Hakimian

        Thank you so much for responding, Lissa! I cant tell you how much I appreciate and am moved that you take the time to respond. I am super inspired by your work and words. I really really thank you! I am working super hard in the sickcare system and want to work in healthcare and am starting to treat people out of my home with intention to create a space and time and openness to healing. I am using different modalities that I have learned and am wondering about the sustainability of the model that I am creating. Your words resonate deeply in me and I want to see how people respond when given attention and space to heal. Do you ever think about treating people again very part time out of your home? Sending you blessings and love and thanks

        Reply
  27. Lois Henrickson

    Relationships require an exchange of energy to be fruitful… some kind of giving from both parts. (Reiki teaches that an exchange is necessary for healing.) The work to set up and administer and lead a soul tribe is considerable, and therefore, it should be compensated. Energy in, energy out… Basic principle of abundance. Although the exchange does not always need to be monetary, money is actually an easy and efficient way to exchange.
    I have sadly observed that the people who want to “share everything” are often the people who don’t have anything to contribute. It’s been the downfall of many an attempt at communal living. I think of a line from an old rock song that says “shouldn’t’ve took more than you gave.”
    If you don’t like the way this group will be structured, then start one yourself. (BTW, you’ll soon realize why the leader needs compensation!) There are many forms a soul tribe could take.
    A women’s community chorus is currently a soul tribe for me. Part of what ties us together is a shared mission and an ongoing activity. You get to know and trust the people that you work on a project with. Perhaps your Soul Tribe will eventually evolve into some form of social action?

    Reply
    • Lissa_Rankin

      I feel how you get it. Thank you for nurturing my wound of feeling misunderstood in my purity of intention and people’s misunderstandings of what it takes to create something experimental and new. Good luck with your chorus!

      Reply
  28. Kirsten Durward

    I think you give so much for free already. I have been following your transformation for some years, and I have shared your story with many people for whom it has provoked change or belief. I agree that we all need to sustain ourselves while doing the work. For me that has so far been continuing my regular work in education, and spiritual growth work on the side. But I have seen a lack of commitment too when people are offered the growth work for free, I have to agree that payment encourages commitment and dedication. Also as I plan to transition to full time growth work, I will need to sustain myself with a simple lifestyle. I’ve never heard about the Saviour Complex but now that you mention it, I fully recognise it in myself. It’s a conundrum. I do genuinely know people who not only struggle economically but are part of needy communities where every cent is valuable. I’m happy to give them some time. But I am more aware now, knowing that I have invested in my self growth which has served me well in my learning from others and from myself, and only that has brought me to this powerful point of change. At times I have taken the choice even though the economics were very risky. So why would I deprive others of the opportunity to experience this for themselves, to take the empowerment of self investment? When I read your reflection it seems to me that the commentator quoted “If you want to build a community where I share my expertise, then you need to square why your contributions are remunerated and mine are not.” has somewhat missed the point. The building of the community is in itself a time consuming and costly process. Just setting up a site takes time and investment. As does supporting the community on a consistent and proactive basis. For community participants, the choice is to contribute freely as much as you want to or can. For a community organiser the responsibility is much much more. You don’t need to defend that, because you already know that. The commentator is in a place of self reflective need. The other questions “How is it ethical to charge money for Soul Tribe? Isn’t it everyone’s birthright to be part of a Soul Tribe?’ – personally I struggle with the concept of ‘birthright’. We all have personal responsibility and accountability. It’s our attitude which makes the difference. I learned that in Africa where many people have literally nothing else but a tribe, The attitude of how they live their life makes a difference. In these questions I read a sense of entitlement in the outrage. But also confusion, I don’t see that you are creating a tribe and charging for it. I see that you are offering a space to connect for those who feel disconnected, and it is a choice, perhaps a choice that some people need for a time. And, as mentioned, the organisation of that space has literal costs and time costs. ‘ How dare you exploit people’s loneliness and commoditize community?’ The outrage? This person does not know who you are or what you have been doing and giving. I wonder what this persona has been doing or giving. If our communities were working and people were accepted for what they were, then loneliness would disappear. I work in schools and every day I reflect about how much more we expect of children than adults; inclusivity, respect for self and others, consideration, listening, turn taking positive action… the list is endless. Then I am interrupted by adults, have people cut in front of me as I am being served, push into a taxi that I have blatantly stopped, form events with deliberate exclusions, not talk to the neighbours, ignore upset looking people and way way more. We all need to reflect on that! Everyone needs to ask themselves how they have reached out recently. ‘Doesn’t community require diversity, and doesn’t charging money limit diversity?’ Actually community literally means – ‘the condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common’. The word roots are in Latin – communitatem (nominative communitas) “community, society, fellowship, friendly intercourse; courtesy, affability,” from communis “common, public, general, shared by all or many” In Latin communitatem “was merely a noun of quality … meaning ‘fellowship, community of relations or feelings,’ So if we think about that for a moment… it’s not about diversity it is about fellowship and understanding. But it is also not about exclusivity, which again raises the point about payment. My final thoughts about that synchronise with Sandy’s comment below, that it is possible to build a means based sliding scale for participants who truly want to commit but are challenged. For me the cost is not that high, but I choose to spend my money elsewhere at the moment and I don’t need the community as I have my own. For others who might be more in need, they could benefit from the sliding scale suggestion. But I send you all the most positive energies in your endeavours

    Reply
  29. Brian

    You raise valid points Lissa, in a healthy society we would all take care of one another, we have become too disconnected from ourselves that we have to seek life coaches and teachers, and mediums and pay them well in order to access truths that we ourselves have access to, and there is so much of that out there we are left not knowing where to turn! This explains why I have resistance to sharing those gifts within the current economy, there was an inner truth within me all this time as to how things could be, not how they are or appear to be! You are addressing the issues no one else in the spiritual community seems willing to discuss, they see charging high fees as part of how it just is in this world and that it is part of some higher spiritual calling? I sincerely hope we can connect one day as I know we would have some very interesting conversations, you definitely speak to much of what is presenting in my life and helping me make sense of it! In a way we are already part of a soul tribe! Keep following your path, you are one of a few who are getting to the truth and are being vulnerable in a way very few are willing to be, and whether you know it or not you are changing the world for the better!

    Reply
  30. Véronique Alice Eberhart

    Thanks Lissa for your long explanation… but really, you don’t have to justify yourself. We all need to pay our rent. Everything you said about giving services is true: what is free has no value. Period. I experiences this painful truth myself -many times! As a penniless student, I always found a way to pay for my expensive voice lessons with one of the big name in my country. Most of the money I made went it that, because it was important to me. I never questioned why this opera star would make me pay the full price since I ‘couldn’t afford’ it. I enjoyed reading your book Mind over matter -amazing read! And I enjoy reading your blogs … and I won’t be in your tribe- at least not for now, because I’m already in a wonderful tribe – and yes I have to pay for it, and quite a bit more than what you’re asking for! I cursed the price a lot… but if it hadn’t been for the high ticket price, and the urgency to have my business on its feet, and the amazing support of my tribe, I would have had none of the amazing transformation I had. Yes, it is unfair that some people won’t flinch at $500 a year, and that for other, it is going to be a sacrifice. But I would argue that the one who are going to gain the more from this tribe are the ones for which it hurts a bit. Millionaires won’t care, for the most past… or they will go into tribes where they have to shed $10th of thousands of dollars to be part of, like golf clubs or the like. Of course, you have exceptions to this rule. Anyway, to finish this rant, I would ask the people who don’t see why they should pay for this tribe what is really behind this ask? Do you really want a free pass, or do you want something els? Feeling righteous about money won’t pay Lissa’s debt… nor your rent. I would really encourage you to question your beliefs around money… who knows, you might find for yourself the reason why you can’t or don’t want to pay for this adventure… Good luck to all!

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  31. Peggy Joan

    I just signed up and am totally pumped! It has not been a great year for many of us, and being around positive like-minded people is much needed! Becoming a Soul Tribe member sends a powerful message to myself that I am worth it. I feel hopeful and more at peace than I have in a long time. Thanks, Lissa, for this amazing opportunity!

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  32. Mihaela Homjak

    Thank you for these wisdom pearls- I just want to support you and confirm that you deserve to receive for what you are giving- and this project will need a lot of energy and time. My soul yearns to be in touch with this transformational process, I know I am a part of it, and it’s getting louder and louder. I was torn because could not afford the mentorship program (yet) even though it felt right. Tonight I found out about the Tribe and my Inner Pilot Light screamed a loud “Yes!” Thank you, thank you! Sending lots of love! What you are giving out to this world is precious and priceless 🙂

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