A couple days ago, I shared a blog post, sharing why I want to get off the capitalist treadmill.
I got a ton of responses from people who feel similarly…
The financial insecurity we experience is driving us to be work zombies in order to survive and we aren’t free to spend quality time with our loved ones, much less follow our calling….
Even though our families need our loving presence and our communities need us to follow our calling, including those of us who do healing justice and liberation work like myself.
Frankly, it’s precisely because the market doesn’t value such work, that there’s such a huge gap in our social justice work.
In other words…
The struggles I’m facing are also being faced by so many. The system was designed to keep us in those dehumanizing struggles – and thereby unable to resist oppression and dismantle it.
But it doesn’t need to be this way.
Here’s the Seemingly Impossible Alternatives That Are Actually Possible
Systemic oppression can exist due to the inequitable distribution of power and resources.
I’m not waiting for our government or corporations to give me what I need to be human.
So my question is…
How can a small group of people come together to redistribute power and resources amongst ourselves – in order to live a more human life?
I just came back from a gathering with Catholic nuns who in some ways, are living a lifestyle I didn’t know was happening – but want for myself!
I knew they live in communal housing, do community-based work, and spend a lot of time in spiritual contemplation.
What I didn’t know was…
They support themselves by pooling together their incomes from their day jobs. They then redistribute the money for the collective well-being of the sisters and to support different community projects.
For example, recently several orders of sisters pooled their money together to create housing for undocumented people, being targeted by ICE.
I mention this not to erase the harm the Catholic Church and nuns have caused throughout history or ignore the struggles they’ve faced to survive as well.
But I want to highlight how the Catholic sisters have been doing a remarkable type of communal living and service for hundreds of years in the US.
They’re not the only ones too.
Another example is my partner, Aaron Goggans, who works with two other anti-racism nonprofit consultants. They pool their consulting income together regardless of how much money was earned individually.
They re-distribute that money through a monthly basic income with quarterly profit sharing. This allows them to take time to do important work that can’t get paid for or take time off when needed due to health or other reasons – without worrying about paying their basic bills.
Those are just a couple examples and I’m sure others exist that we don’t get taught about..
But are fully possible!
Here’s The Pro-Human Vision I’m Being Called To Manifest
A month ago, I was at my Buddhist sangha when the teachers asked what our vision for our lives is and what are we challenged around by it.
I realized that my vision for my life is calling me to be a modern-day monastic, living into spiritual and social liberation and teaching how to re-become human.
This calls for me to more deeply continue on my path of re-becoming human – in aspects of my life I don’t even know about yet.
I am also challenged by this vision to give up on the limitations of capitalism and individualism – and embrace the possibilities of communal resourcefulness.
In ways I haven’t even imagined before – but I know others have been doing it and I can co-create new ways with others too.
I want to be my own guinea pig and experiment with how to provide healing and liberation work through a non-capitalist, pro-human, financially sustainable, communal way.
In the short-term, this could mean becoming increasingly financially sustainable in a more non-transactional, more solidarity-oriented ways such as:
- Sharing my story and teachings without asking for money first
- Being financially compensated for my work based on the value it brings to you
- Developing relationships with people who are invested in supporting this life experimentation from a place of mutual care and mutual benefit
In the long-term, this could allow me to move toward creating a communal life where I:
- Am continuously grounded in my healing and spiritual practice
- Live in communal housing with other spiritual activists
- Pool our individual income together for collective redistribution
- Engage in collective child rearing
- Co-create community-based work to support our healing and self-determination
This would call on me to face a LOT of fears around conflict, money, trust, relationships – and work through them with a group of other people.
Thankfully I have my healing and liberation framework to hold me as I peel back the layers to move toward individual and collective wholeness.
And you know…
As I learn how to co-create this humanizing lifestyle for myself, I’ll turn around and teach you how you can do it too!
Sandra’s the Founder of Re-Becoming Human and Everyday Feminism. She’s committed to living into spiritual and social liberation in each and every moment. Sandra shares her (often painfully earned) learnings from her ongoing journey of healing and co-creation so that your journey may move faster and have less pain and more joy!