As above, so below, as within, so without - every thing that we desire, and every thing that we fear, exists within us. This blog explores nourishing our dreams, committing to our highest values, and healing ourselves from the inside out: awakening and empowering the Goddess within our bodies, hearts, and lives.
Spiritual Gifts and Money – Feeling Comfortable Charging For Our Services
I loved reading the tarot so much I carried six decks with me at all times. I gave readings in restaurants, in class, outside Starbucks, at parties, in the park, over the phone, even by instant messenger. Reading tarot connected me with Spirit. It was sacred to me, even if most of the people I read simply found it entertaining.
How could I charge for readings when giving them brought me so much pleasure? Could I really refuse someone a reading because they didn’t have the $20 I felt bad about charging? Should I read some people for free even while charging others? Were free readings worth less than paid ones?
Every few months I paid a friend of mine, a professional psychic, $20-$40 for a reading. I recorded the readings either on tape or in my notebook, and I referred to those notes frequently as the events of my life unfolded. My friend made her living reading tarot, and I wanted to make my living the same way. I was afraid that I wasn’t good enough, that I wouldn’t find enough clients, and ohmygods, what if I couldn’t read someone who paid me?
I didn’t go to school to be a psychic. My BA is in anthropology, my MFA in Creative Writing. I didn’t pay thousands of dollars for a piece of paper declaring me an expert in tarot, though I bet somewhere out there you can do just that. I did take classes in intuitive development, mediumship, runes, tarot, auras, angels, and energy healing.
However, I had tons of experience from reading friends and family, and I read strangers all the time. Every time I read a stranger and saw that look on their faces, that look that said clearly that they couldn’t believe how accurate my reading was, I came that much closer to calling myself a psychic without a joke in my voice.
Every time a client insisted on paying me, I felt a little more open to the idea of charging for my readings. Then, when I started charging, I slowly raised my prices as my clients kept telling me I was undervaluing myself.
I taught myself to believe that there is plenty for everyone in this world, including me.
Ten years later, with 20 years of tarot-reading under my belt, I am finally comfortable calling myself a psychic, a medium, a tarot reader, an intuitive, or whatever label the situation calls. I feel confident that a half hour reading with me is totally worth $50, and every time a client tips me on top of that amount I still get that same thrill I got the first time a client insisted on paying me.
That’s my story. What’s yours?
Maybe you are an artist, and your friends and family think you are really good, but you don’t feel like you are good enough.
Maybe you are a healer, and you know your healing gift is valuable, but you are afraid that charging for it would cheapen it somehow.
Maybe you are, like me, a psychic of some kind. Maybe you haven’t taken as many classes or read as many people. Maybe you’ve taken more classes than I have. Maybe you’ve never taken a class or read a book on divination but you’ve been giving readings longer than I’ve been alive.
I know so many people who are afraid to charge for their gifts, just as I used to be.
If what you do is so valuable to you, why wouldn’t it be worth paying for?
Here is an unpleasant truth: people value what they pay for far more than they value what they get for free.
When I was giving out free readings left and right, most of the people I read didn’t believe in what I was doing and either wanted to be entertained or wanted me to prove that psychic stuff was real. People who don’t believe in psychic stuff won’t pay for it. And that’s wonderful! Because giving a reading to someone who believes you are either full of crap or pathetically gullible sucks major ass.
Charging for something that is special to you opens you up to rejection. It can leave you feeling exposed and vulnerable. You need to feel confident charging for your art or services, because if you don’t, then your potential clients and customers won’t have confidence in you either.
Maybe like me, you need to charge really low at first, until you build your experience and confidence. Or maybe you have enough experience already, and you just need to redefine your relationship with money, the value of what you do, and your right to make a living doing what you love.
Even if you only want to make a little extra money on the side, even if you are happy with your day job and never intend to make your gifts the focal point of your career, you will still benefit from charging or bartering for them, and so will your clients. You are giving your clients and customers an opportunity to support you and what you love. You are making your service or product more valuable to us all.
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