“I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.”–James Baldwin

American democracy is getting it wrong. It represents corporations and highest bidders, ignores the will of the people. I’m writing a series of Federalist Papers to share how I hope we can shift things to create the world of our dreams.

This is the way I choose to see my own participation in economy in order to make change in the world.

Hi! I’m Bevin! I want to be a good influence on you!

The three main resources all of us have available to us are our time, treasure and talent.

Much like our beloved mushroom friends function as an underground network of mycelium, I try to move my resources and nutrients very intentionally between places that matter to me.

The mushrooms, by the way, are the fruit of the mycelium, and are typically less than 20% of the overall mycelium. It’s incredible the way they communicate with one another and act as a conduit of nutrients and information between trees!

I really think mushrooms are teachers for us showing us the way we can heal the planet from extracting corporate oligarchs!

When I spend money I prioritize first putting money in the hands of another person I know, I’m in community with or that I value. 

I do this because the “nutrients” from the money I use are far more impactful the more locally I can spend the money. 

I still consider money “local” if it’s within a community I’m part of, even if that community is worldwide as many of my communities are in these internet Age of Aquarius times! 

When a community gathers around common values this as a mindful way to spend money. Plus, I want my communities to thrive and when I spend money with vendors within the community I’m voting for them to win. 

In some ways intra community spending feels like we pass “the same $20” around but it’s actually pretty powerful and I hope it will eventually be the “same $1,000” we pass around.

My second priority is putting the money in the hands of another individual or family. It feels great that the money I spend at a family owned restaurant is going right to keeping the lights on at the house of the family who owns it. 

Or having a hair dresser who is independent versus working for a big corporation where they are just getting paid hourly.

I spend with cash when I am able because credit card processing is expensive for small businesses and puts some of the transaction money into the hands of corporations. No thanks!

I then prioritize local worker-owned businesses (some of these are not family owned). In Port Townsend we have a worker-owned food co-op and I do 75% of my grocery shopping there. The other 25% is at a local family owned franchise of Grocery Outlet (wow do I love discount snacks).

I learned that the cure for our current “greedflation” we are experiencing with groceries is prioritizing spending grocery money with stores that are on the same supply chain as Grocery Outlet, Dollar Stores, Trader Joe’s, etc… We speak to corporations with our money and when we prioritize spending with the companies that are not price gauging it’s very loud to them!

Handing money to a friend or an artist just FEELS good, too. The energetic exchange is so much better than shopping at Walmart (which I never shop at). Remember that liking posts, sharing posts, amplifying your favorite artists and creators is a form of currency.

Next I’m going to prioritize shopping at a privately held corporation. (You’d need to do some research to figure out whether a company is traded on a stock market or is privately held, but it’s pretty easy to figure out.) I also take a look at the values that the corporation walks out.

For example, I’ve never eating at chik-fil-a because they support gay hating initiatives that really don’t align with their stated values. But they are privately held and will continue to be. (I truly don’t understand Christian hegemony that doesn’t align with the teachings of Jesus the Christ but that’s a different article for a different day!)

Why private companies? Because I don’t want to make faceless shareholders wealthy with my money. The more we divest from big corporations the more power our money has. The more we empower people in our communities with our money the better we support the folks we want to win!

I also think about hedge fund bros making millions off of moving money around. Money is really just an idea (read the Soul of Money–life changing).

If I had $20 to spend on a meal out I’d rather give that money to a mom and pop mexican place than Chipotle (owned in part by McDonald’s corporation, currently subject to boycott).

Before I’ll shop at Amazon I’ll shop at a big box store that has a local store that employs my neighbors. The goal is to keep the money circulating locally as much as possible. 

Amazon, by the way, is not a great place for their workers, not actually creating happiness or smiles even though they have the resources to do it! (I kind of see the vans they have as Death Eaters with their smoke steaming around my neighborhood a la Harry Potter movies). 

I have a friend who prioritizes shopping from Amazon online because they are the only company using electric vehicles around here, which is a fair point. Everyone has different values that matter to them!

I also post links to Amazon from time to time on my blog (and include a link in every blog post so if you ARE shopping from Amazon I get a 3% commission at no cost to you that cuts into Bezos’ profits). I do this because it’s a great way for me to not have to give cash to Amazon when I do because they pay me in gift cards. I would much rather you support an indie bookseller but if you’re gonna use Amazon, I appreciate the circulation of energy coming my way!

A reminder to tip lavishly in cash whenever you are able to and always when receiving a service not from the owner of the business!

You can apply the same kind of prioritization to your time (which is also your attention). There’s a reason all these apps and streaming services are vying for your attention. It’s a commodity to them! 

Your talent are the things you’re good at. Consider who you could be helping with what you’re good at. Something that is very simple to you is very meaningful to someone else!

We are systematically disempowered in our society. Whenever I feel bad about myself I consider “who profits off my self loathing” and choose new thoughts.

We think we can’t fix the big problems ourselves so we don’t do these small things that actually help.

The big changes that come from below are because lots of people are making little decisions to help a bigger issue. Most people just give up rather than try, but we make big changes by each of us being willing to be a little uncomfortable or inconvenienced to make a difference.

McDonalds has seen a huge decline in their profits–young people are really mobilizing against genocide!

The current boycott of Starbucks has reduced their company’s net worth by $4 Billion and counting. That’s a bunch of people deciding collectively to simply change their coffee shop. Small decisions by a lot of people make a huge impact.

This soap box moment isn’t to say you have to do things my way or you’re a bad person. I don’t think that at all–I believe everyone is doing the best they can with the tools they have at the time. My point in this article is to help you understand the way I think about resources in hopes that you will take what you like and leave the rest.

I try to be a river not a reservoir in life and get intentional about where I flow my resources. Yeah, it’s more of a hassle to figure out where to get my audiobooks since Amazon gobbled up audible. It’s more of a hassle to shop locally than buy from Bezos. But I want to make a difference in my tiny corner of the world, and support my communities. That matters more to me than a small inconvenience.

Further reading: What if Tipping Revolutionized the World?

Be a Garden Hero this Year!

Follow Focused on Infinity on Instagram, and Patreon for further tips on prepping and mobilizing in these times. I’m really appreciating Logan’s leadership and empowerment in these continually unprecedented times.

P.S. This post is an adaptation of an article published in issue 2 of the Goddess Quarterly, a zine for Goddesses who heal with plant medicine.

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