Conscious Reciprocity in Principle & Action: Release to Receive

When offering our clients a gift of our making, whether paid or free, our goals are often framed in terms of “engagement” and “return on investment.” Given such parameters, it’s often easy to think of the marketing around that offer from the old, projective “masculine” view of marketing. If a conscious, holistic entrepreneurial woman forgets the sacred, divine feminine role of reciprocity in a fair transaction, she may find her objectives falling short, and her vision obscured.

In the emergent, receptive “feminine” view of marketing, we need an understanding of the cycle of related reciprocity – and ways we can actively initiate and activate this cycle to increase prosperity and abundance. The Principle of Reciprocity allows us to see giving to others as a gift we give ourselves.

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The Principle of Reciprocity allows us to see giving to others as a gift we give ourselves. 

One of the best discussions of reciprocity related to women, work. and money I’ve ever encountered is in a 1980s essay from the book Woman, Earth, and Spirit, by Helen Luke. She describes the feminine aspect of the flow of money as “free giving and free taking” in equal proportions. She writes: “In every money exchange, we both earn and pay, pay and earn, then our earning and paying become the free giving and free taking whereby whereby money enters the ‘temple’ once more…in the pure gold of the human heart.”

Heart-centered business leaders know that in order to give and take freely, ulterior motives and manipulation have no place in our exchange with our clients. We know to communicate authentically and honestly from our core essence and values. We know we must come from a sincere place of service, and offer an experience of transformation. We know that the body is a metaphor for the ‘temple’ of yore, and that the natural relationship model at the cellular level is one of reciprocal exchange. We draw our strength from this knowing – or, as the goddess Moneta would remind us, this re-membering.

Once we remember the feminine Principle of Reciprocity, we must determine how best to initiate and continue to activate our intention to increase the level at which we receive. The most direct way to engage these energies of reciprocity is to engage in Conscious Acts of Releasing.

The act of releasing makes new room to grow. Think of removing clutter from one’s house, money clutter from one’s financial life, or relationship clutter. Where there is clutter, there is inequity in the cycle of give and take. The removal of clutter in our mundane world frees up a lot of energy, increases flow and reciprocity, and creates space for the growth we desire to occur.

To increase abundance sustainably, it helps to re-member that when we release something not in alignment with our soul’s purpose, it also clears space for us to create abundance in our lives in the forms of increased happiness, love and joy. When we
re-member that money is a symbol for the divine flow of these qualities in our
lives, it becomes possible to increase our potential for manifestation by releasing those things we cling to not in service to our potentiality. When we re-member that what we focus on, grows, we release the outmoded, survival level ideas about denial and self-sacrifice as a source of strength we carry from the old paradigm, and instead receive permission from ourselves to answer our heart’s calling.

In the book Heart of the Buddha’s Teachings, Thich Nhat Hanh suggests human be-ings release three things in order to follow a path of love and compassion, peace and joy: cravings, anger, and suffering. These guidelines may provide useful ways for individuals to identify their readiness to release those things which no longer serve their vision for the future.

1. Release cravings – what do you crave to fill an area of lack in your life?

Do you crave food? Alcohol? Things? We are told to “Look into the nature of what you think will bring you happiness and see if it is…causing you love to suffer.” Instead, we’re encouraged to move attention to the present moment and “the wonders of life available right now.” Paying attention to our physical existence allows us to fully experience the bounty life has to offer.

2. Release anger – What makes you angry?

Is it a situation? An inconsiderate boss or partner? The need to release a vengeance or vendetta? Punishing the other person usually just makes the situation worse. Instead, why not follow the advice of The Buddha and “send her a gift. Instead of punishing the person, offer him exactly what he needs. The practice of giving can bring you to the shore of well-being rather quickly.” Shifting from judgment to discernment enables us to be of service to the other person, instead of forcing them into a position of servitude.

3. Release suffering – instead, seek understanding.

A simple exercise to increase understanding is the antidote to suffering. “Focus your concentrated attention on one object, look deeply into it, and you’ll have insight and understanding. When you offer others understanding, they will stop suffering right away.” When we go deeply into our own truth, we are able to truly be of service to others and have something of inherent value to offer.

Sherri L. McLendon, MA, is a presence based marketing public relations pro, conscious business coach, and lead content strategist with Professional Moneta International, http://www.professionalmoneta.com.

(c) 2011, 2017 by Sherri L. McLendon, all rights reserved. Reprint with permission.

Do you have what it takes to be a Spiritual Entrepreneur?

When Frodo set out to destroy the Ring, he prepared for the journey as best he could. He packed his trusty Elven sword, the impenetrable chain mail gifted by his uncle, and basic necessities. But he, Sam, and the others of their party could not know all the challenges that would lie ahead, and likewise, neither does any entrepreneur. But for a Spiritual Entrepreneur, whose vocation is chosen in answer to a higher calling and a sense of their soul’s contract or purpose, the path fraught with meaning becomes allegory, and the challenges, symbol. In the search for spiritual meaning and higher truth, Spiritual Entrepreneurs must, like Frodo, come to the task at hand in sincere service to others.Image

Here are some of the challenges you can expect on a modern day spiritual path which leads deeper into your calling.

Are you prepared for the journey? Are you…

Ready to decide who you serve?

Because we want to help others and to serve the highest and best outcomes for our clients, we sometimes make the mistake of thinking we have to serve everyone. Instead, to make this work, you’ll actually want to narrow your focus and identify the specific characteristics of people you want to work with.  You’re entering a relationship with these persons, and you want to love working with them, so pretend they’re a prospective mate and make a list of what you want.

Prepared to ask others to invest in their own success?

Bartering and trading are regrettably, rarely an even exchange of life force energies for both parties. If the client says they want what you offer, but aren’t ready to pay for it, chances are they’re not invested in themselves at the level you’d like. How many times have you said you’d like to attract clients “who are willing and able to do the work?” If the client isn’t invested, chances of their deep commitment are limited. Plus, if we’re really honest, there’ s nothing spiritual about not being able to support yourself.

Willing to trust even if you don’t know how the story is going to end?

The journey of the Spiritual Entrepreneur is never boring, but that also means it’s not predictable. What I’ve learned is that when the next step isn’t apparent, there’s actually a choice between sitting with the situation and allowing the path to unfold and leaping into the abyss of the unknown. Different situations call for one or the other. The trick is accessing your intuition so you can learn which is which.

Unwavering and faithful in your focus and vision?

Sometimes, you won’t be able to see the forest for the trees. That’s why knowing your core values and acting from that ethos in all situations, holding your vision for the future in alignment with your actions, is a crucial factor for moving ahead. The Roman money goddess, Moneta, from whom we take the Professional Moneta name, carries with her the archetypal modelling of unwavering focus on the abundance you seek.

Open to ask for what you need, and to receive it when it comes?

If you’re not willing to ask for what you need when it comes to support for your entrepreneurial journey, you won’t be able to stay the course. How do you know when it’s time? If you find yourself forgetting how you got yourself into this mess, then it’s past time to ask for help. But once you do, it’s of paramount importance to receive it in the manner in which it comes. If you’re asking for help, but saying “no” to every possible answer, it means you’re probably way too attached to the status quo. The only thing that’s constant in the journey of a Spiritual Entrepreneur is change.

Discerning in the company you keep?

Listen, really listen, to the messages you’re getting from your companions on each leg of the journey. If you’re hearing lots of persons talk about the bad economy, lack of affordability, scarcity, discounting, and difficulty, it really doesn’t matter how spiritual they are. What we focus on grows, and that goes for our friends, too.

Ready to grow at every level of your being?

When you’re a Spiritual Entrepreneur, you will find you will not be able to sustain yourself or your business without balanced attention in the physical, mental and spiritual practice realms. If you spend too much time in one or the other, the business will suffer and it will show up in the money. If you’re going to continue the journey, good self care, diet, exercise, attending your own emotional, physical or financial healing, and learning new ways of thinking and doing will fill the well from which you draw the inspiration to grow your business.

Invested in your own success?

Be willing to model the change you wish to see in the world by investing in your own success. This may be investing in support from experts, coaching, acquiring new skills through education or training, creating a team to lighten your load so you can develop from your uniqueness, or adding specialized tools, tactics and strategies to enhance your ability to serve. How do you expect your clients to invest in you if you don’t invest in yourself?

If you feel resistance to these ideas, you may be on the path, but not yet committed to the journey or prepared for its rigors. If you need help with charting a course with vision and action, let me know.

Sherri L. McLendon, M.A., O.M., is also known as ‘Sherri Moneta.’ She specializes in helping exceptional entrepreneurs with a higher calling accelerate their money-making communication strategies and deepen their mindfulness practices in business so they can help more people, grow personally and professionally, and improve their sense of value and worth. Her clients need the expertise and support necessary create the change they want to be in the world and close the gap between their unlimited growth potential and their current limitations.

Drawbacks and Advantages to Do-It-Yourself Press Releases

Every so often I get a note from a client asking “Hey, Sherri, have you seen this?”

“This” is often a too-good-to-be-true offer from a free or super-cheap publicity service. It uses phrases like “target the right people,” “dirt cheap,” “free press,” and suggests that anyone off the street can out-perform a public relations professional. The email subject lines are so misleading, I’m surprised they’re not in violation of the CAN-SPAM act.

Most average small business owners looking to grow their business don’t know that all releases – and all release writers – aren’t created equal. Yet, there are tons of these guys out there. Sigh. They lie. A regular person cannot do a better job than a PR pro just by using this type of service or filling in the blanks on a template. Within the public relations industry, you’ll find specialized types of releases, each with its own particularities. They look similar in format, but they’re not alike in intention. And a pro knows the difference.

PR does not stand for press release. Public relations is way bigger than getting out a press release. Choosing to look at a publicity choice without judgment does not mean to move forward without discernment.

When it comes to press releases, different distribution options perform different jobs. A social media release does something specific; so does a release targeting journalists. A single release to news organizations without a good follow-up pitch campaign probably won’t result in much coverage, and should probably, with rare exception, only be executed as one tactic on a larger overall strategy.

Then there’s the role of the writer. The writer also has to hook the reader or editor in a specific way, or the story won’t fly. It has to be written in inverted pyramid journalism style, optimized for social media and web conventions.

Promises of increased media coverage out of the gate should be considered suspect. No-one can guarantee a story will get picked up by a specific media outlet, such as a newspaper. Too many mitigating factors come into play. It’s more likely your release may make it onto an RSS feed syndicated to a news site. But if you don’t have a relevant story, quotes from solid sources, and a current twist, you won’t make it to the “in” basket to be considered for a great feature article or to comment on breaking news. In some cases, you’ll want to add the old school, built relationship with the publication’s editorial staff. That takes time, and handling. High quality images (at least 300 dpi for  print use), or more recently, video, draw additional attention to your quality content.

Digital Media Pyramid Currently in Circulation

In every press release now, we have the strategic placement of what I affectionately call the “bells and whistles:” back links, SEO, etc. Press releases have changed. I’ve had a lot of people wax to me about their “great public relations gal,” only to see the release wasn’t electronically submitted, it had no key words, wasn’t optimized for social media, and was uploaded as a pdf file to their site. That was fine 10 years ago if you had a good media list and knew how to use it. Not so much so today.

In some cases, the super-cheap press release services charge for a lot of information that’s available for free. They’re assuming the person looking for the least expensive option instead of the one that works best probably won’t know the difference.  Second, the releases they distribute may scatter broad and wide, not targeted as specifically in terms of content, region, etc., as may be desired. Spending a little more on targeted releases (even if you use press releases less frequently) makes sense in terms of heightened ROI, or return on investment. There’s also no review process to confirm the release is optimized to its peak performance level. Most of us who are serious about performance look for the pre-publication review so we can fine-tune our product, followed by high quality, measurable result reporting to gauge success.

If you’re considering investing in a paid press release service, cheaper isn’t always better. I am not saying never. I am saying be sure you know what you’re getting for the money, and what that choice will or will not do in terms of performance. In fact, some paid releases offer little that couldn’t be achieved by triangulating three free releases optimized for social media distribution. It’s a trick I’ve used often to build reputation, explore key word and search returns, or to amp up the bell curve effect for a larger campaign’s effectiveness. I’ve also found that in specific cases small upgrades to free press releases work quite well to enhance a campaign which needs increased results for fewer dollars.

Essentially, content determines what gets noticed on the web. Bottom line? Invest in the compelling storytelling, even if you go with a free or inexpensive release. Because whatever you put out there on the world wide web with your name on it will exist somewhere basically forever. Literally hundreds of free and inexpensive press release services are found online. Some of them are reputable and useful. But if that compelling publicity offer sounds too good to be true, chances are, it is.

Attracting Quality Clients with Grace & Ease

When you’re a spiritual entrepreneur, in service to your calling through your business, the conscious cultivation of grace and ease in your personal life actually helps attract the quality and quantity of clients you desire into your world. When we talk about “raising your vibration” to attract quality clients, it’s necessary to ground your work in the real world. As with some spiritual practices and types of energy work, many practitioners mistakenly assume only the upper chakras come into energetic play when raising one’s individual vibration and resonance. In reality, grounding your work in the real world requires working energetically with the lower chakras, beginning with the base chakra.

Here are 3 ways you can do to raise your vibration from the ground up:

Berries are a radical self care treat.

1. Indulge in Radical Self Care

Radical self care means putting yourself first, consciously choosing to do whatever brings you emotional comfort or makes you feel good physically and emotionally. Take a look at your relationship with food, your appearances, your indulgences. Do they make you feel like the highest and best version of your self, or are you subconsciously sabotaging your well being? Support yourself with long baths, massage, plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy grains, and herbal teas, or whatever it is your spirit craves. Increase at the ground level requires nurture and patience. If you feel better, you’ll resonate at a higher frequency and attract clients at that new level.

2. Express Gratitude Daily

Every night before bedtime, make a list of everything you’re grateful for, and say “thank you” to the universe. Often, our prayers are requests; gratitudes express appreciation for the abundance in life. If you wish to call in abundance, including more clients, a grateful acknowledgement of the abundance already flowing into your life is the way to go. Plus, when you get discouraged, you can look back over your gratitude journal for inspiration and reminders that the universe really does support you and your growth.

3. Move Expressively

In Feng Shui, wealth is situated in the “hips,” the sacral chakra. To call in wealth, rejoice through music and movement. One of the most effective ways to do this is to set an intention, choose music which speaks to you, then dance the elements. Earth rhythms, such as drums, wake up your connection to your foundations, and your inner masculine. In Air, the winds of wealth bring opportunity, empowerment, abundance, fortunate blessings, and the ability to receive prosperity. Water adds currency and harmony to our dance. When we move our hips gently, allowing the roundness of the natural sway and undulation of the feminine, we unfurl our gift of manifestation the way a garden begins to offer the fruits of summer. The dance itself awakens our passions, activates our intentions, and the pelvis becomes a crucible for creativity – the seat of the divine feminine’s true source of abundance. Unify your experience with your spiritual path by writing down your insights, and meditating or visioning your future outcomes.

When you feel grace and ease, and allow beauty and joy room to grow in your everyday life, the clients who are attracted to you are those who do the same.

The Price of a Cup of Coffee: reflections on gifts

A few months back, as a judge for a prestigious awards program for the Raleigh Public Relations Association, I enjoyed the opportunity to peruse an outstanding ad campaign with a new take on the “less than a cup of coffee per day” idea. It led me to reconsider my ideas about individual buying power and the magic phrase in question.

In the past month, I’ve enjoyed cups of coffee with connectors and potential clients and referral partners. In a couple of cases, I felt uneasy when the person I was meeting insisted on buying me a cup of coffee. And I didn’t really understand the feeling. After all, it was just a cup of coffee, right?

Anyone who knows me knows I love coffee, the ritual of it connects me to home and a happy childhood. I’d no more give up the scent of my morning coffee warming my heart than I’d give up hot showers, unless forced to do so.

So I began to really, really pay attention when I began to have difficulty closing sales conversations with clients. I began to check for energy leaks I’ve allowed around the energy of money in my life, and followed the trail back to the source. And here’s what I found.

Last week, I accepted a sample session from a potential referral partner, a common practice among those who want others to understand what they do so it’s easy to refer others. Ignoring the fact practitioners should be able to explain in words what they do without giving away free sessions, I accepted the gift.

That’s just not like me. More than a year has passed since I said “no more” to barter, trade, and free sessions. I limit discovery sessions related to business to those specific persons who are ready to work with me, simply to make certain we are a good fit. So why did I compromise? I initially said, “No, thank you,” to this kind, generous, and talented woman. But she scolded me just a tad for not being open to receive abundance, so I ignored my misgivings.

Please don’t misunderstand. The session was lovely, needed, and a blessing. But it was also an opportunity for the universe to teach, and, well, I’m here to learn. Suddenly I’m covered up in people who want to work with me if I’ll trade or barter. A second look is warranted.

As I followed the energy trail of my money leaks backward, I realized where the shift occurred. She bought me a cup of coffee. So did the woman I met last week. And another colleague bought my meal while I was in the bathroom when we met for lunch at a restaurant. So that line of inquiry brings me back to my original question.

What is the real cost of a cup of coffee?

Sacrifices Abundance Consciousness

The intention may be to share abundantly, but the unconscious underlying assumption is scarcity or lack. True abundance lies in sovereignty and wells from an internal source; when we don’t allow individuals to be sovereign in dealings around our businesses, no matter how small, we’re undermining our ability to co-create as equals.

Gifts Create Debts

The “gift,” as opposed to an “offering,” creates a relationship based on the owing of a debt. Essentially, the word debt comes from Latin from the French, de habere, which literally means to keep in one’s possession what belongs to someone else. An offering, on the other hand, is freely given and the outcome for the other person is left to choice.

Sacrifices Fair Exchange

Practically speaking, I’ve realized the exchange immediately removes the possibility of this person becoming a client. The relationship becomes more about me working at the level at which they are comfortable, than about my taking a leadership position through which I can facilitate their growth. If I accept the gift, I sacrifice my sovereignty and my ability to set an energetic example of what it means to be sovereign around money.

Increases Scarcity Mentality

Scarcity mentality takes over when gifts are exchange. No matter how well-intention, gifting assumes the other person does not receive enough to get their needs met. It also assumes they must give while they can. This in turn suggests the individual knows their OWN work is not self-sustaining, and they’re mirroring that reality for those around them.

So the next time someone offers me a coffee, and I say “No, thank you,” it’s not because I don’t welcome abundance into my life. It’s because I do.

 

Aquarius New Moon Perfect for Social Media

By Carolyn K
Special to Professional Moneta
 

Carolyn K

When you’re juggling the many facets of your business, you may feel like there’s no good time to employ a new marketing strategy, like building a social media presence. However, the time is now!

The new moon in Aquarius on the 22nd makes us think about our social pursuits, giving us the opportunity appreciate our current relationships and start creating new ones. The implications of the new moon fit perfectly with the sentiment of the new year in the Gregorian calendar. Now, we have the whole year ahead of us, and we’re ready to start fresh.

With these things in mind, it may be time to either revamp your social media strategy or implement social media into your business plan, if you haven’t already. Here are some tips to live by when analyzing and formulating your social media strategy:

Make Goals

The first step to any social media campaign is to make goals, laying out a plan that can guide you to success. Do you want to drive people to your website? Increase sales? Or simply get your name out there? Your specific goals will greatly influence your execution and strategy, overall.

 Track Your Progress

The only way to see if you are, indeed, making progress is to measure your results! Track visitors using tools like Google Analytics, Hootsuite, Twitter’s new analytics tool, or a combination of all three.

 Prioritize Content

Content is key. That’s why you should elect particularly astute individuals to create your content and keep a watching eye over what’s posted on your social media sites. If you can, interview people in the industry and create a great, informational article. This kind of rich, informative material will bring fans flocking to your sites.

Mind Your P’s and Q’s

Lastly, and most importantly, be polite, cordial, and classy, as any money goddess would. Try to respond to questions or comments on your social media sites and express gratitude to your followers. The last thing you want is to make a bad reputation for yourself and your company. Followers, fans, and friends will greatly appreciate your modesty and politeness.

About the Author: Carolyn is a guest post writer who loves to write about eco-friendly and holistic business planning and inventory management.

 

Falling into the Money Story Well

Falling into someone else’s money story is a lot like encountering oceanic undertow while swimming an artesian well.

Still on the surface, the waters of emotion and money often run deep. When we allow a friend or colleague or client to drag us under, we allow another’s beliefs to distort our perception of reality.

Not only do we not have to fall into others’ money stories, we do not have to accept the money stories others give us as truth. This distinction enables us to discard money stories that do not work for us, especially pertinent if they are stories engrained our own identity. In my own experience, working with the archetype of the ancient Roman money goddess, Moneta, enabled me to exercise the option of rewriting my money story from a position of compassion and action. Daily and mindfully, I choose to accept the belief I can create the money to have a life that I want and love. Today, I use my gifts and talents to support myself. I hold space for that reality for others to follow.

When we choose to remain separate from another woman’s money story, but instead act as a witness to it, we support the first step to autonomy and sovereignty. We allow her to figure out a way not to let money stop her from doing what she wants. If we continue to hold the belief she can create the money to have what she wants, then we have empowered another spiritual BE-ing at the moment of transformation.

Why drown in the artesian well of a money story, when we can choose instead to drink deeply of the waters of our hearts and fill the vessel of our soul’s purpose with clear intention?