Gifts

People are sending me money through the donate button on this blog, and it’s blowing me away! People I’ve never met, people who have found this a useful resource, who know how many unpaid hours I work and want to say thanks. One came in last night while I was hanging out with friends and I cried. Several times. It’s just incredible to me that people would offer to pay me for something I’m already giving for free. There’s a lot of love out there! This was the message that came with one:

Cheers to hope and the spirit of multiplicity

Hells yes. I’ll drink to that! And write to that! It’s deeply inspiring and a lot of work is happening to figure out my approach to hope and multiplicity and weave it together to form the book I’m working on.

So, I’m rewriting parts of my business. I’ve been trying to turn myself into someone who is comfortable with money and goes and writes grant applications and asks for good money for some resources so I can fund others to be free… but wow it’s so not me, or at least, not yet. I’ve learned to stand my ground and ask for pay in face painting otherwise all my weekends would be free charity work, but in mental health it just feels different. I’ve always wanted to be paid a salary so I can offer resources for free… This model of inviting those who can to pay and support free work for those who can’t seems to be working… and right now I can cope with it. So I’ve started to trial it in other areas.

I’m now offering henna or skin inks for people who are grieving with a ‘pay what you can’ approach. I’m also opening the door to more direct contact. I’ve always been happy for people to email me looking for help (sarah @ di.org.au) and I get back to them as soon as possible. Now I’m arranging phone calls with people who want to talk to someone – not a therapist, counsellor or doctor, just a peer. I’m also arranging catch ups with people looking for contact, for private art tutoring, whatever skills I can share. I’ve been carefully opening these doors these past few weeks, inviting people to pay what they can, if they can, and only if they find it helpful.

I’m anxious about being overwhelmed by how many people are looking for support, or finding myself offering so many free services I don’t have time for paid work, which I just can’t afford to do with a family to think of, but so far… well so far it’s good. And I’m getting to do what I love doing – build my networks, reach out, connect, offer hope.

I shouldn’t be surprised that people can be so generous. I’ve devoted a lot of time to writing and running groups and so on, why would I think other people don’t reach out to support things they believe in? I think my time working in mental health has closed my eyes to the real kindness that can exist between people. I’m glad to have them opened again. You guys are amazing. You are changing my world.

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