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The unicorn of responsible hustle

Something that has been on my mind a lot lately is - how do I successfully run a small business, participate in "hustle culture" to promote my services, keep my prices affordable so they are accessible to all, not fall into the trap of capitalistic marketing, and still make enough money to support myself? Am I looking for a unicorn?

With Hope, my intention has always been to offer trauma-informed, accessible, and non-appropriative yoga and meditation to people who otherwise may not have access to or who do not feel comfortable entering traditional yoga spaces. I am passionate about this. It's why you can find me teaching yoga in some really unusual places - the parking lot of a strip mall, a corporate conference room, random backyards. I love offering pay-what-you-can classes. I'm as happy receiving a can of soup or a friendship bracelet for a class as I am paper money, because it means that someone who would not otherwise be experiencing meditation and mindful movement has the chance to give it a try. And maybe it'll change their life, maybe it won't - but shouldn't they be able to try? Problem is - a can of soup and a friendship bracelet don't pay the bills.

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a pretty strong anti-capitalist. My dream is to live in a tiny-house community with other buddhists and yogis and meditators and philosophers and explorers and creators and we'll have a big garden and cook food together and take care of each other and share a bunch of cats and we won't need money because we'll all bring something to our community that provides value. But until I reach that dream, I live in the "real world" where money is power, and pervasive. If I want a roof over my head - money. If I want food to eat - money. If I want transportation to get anywhere - money. Even deepening my own yoga and meditation practice and spiritual journey usually involves paying money for workshops and classes, not to mention the cost of upgrading credits for yearly certifications (that also cost money). So you can see the conundrum. How do we - the healers and the servants in this world gone mad - stay true to our convictions and our ambitions and survive (and dare I say thrive?) in a modern capitalistic society? How do I provide service to others, in a way that is sustainable, without contributing to this serpentine system? I honestly have no answers - if you do, please let me know.

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