Pillars of Our Shared Work
– sharing the foundation of Six Degrees –
When we say “health”, it includes not only physical health but also holistic wellness, which is often related to the intersection of systemic oppression. In an effort to continue nurturing a culture of health, we decided to start a new section – “Pillars of Our Shared Work” – in our monthly newsletter to talk about the foundation that Six Degrees is built on. We are eager to share with you thoughts and resources on some of the topics that we are passionate about. In this section, we ask: How can we together build a community that values awareness for inclusiveness, respect for shared labour, and creative fostering engaged participation? We would also like to invite you to get in touch with us on any related topics that you are interested. This month we focus on the topic of engaged economics in our shared work.
What is Engaged Economics?
Engaged economics is a phrase we have been using more lately at Six Degrees to describe the economic system that we commonly know as sliding scale. Learning from Engaged Buddhism as taught by Thich Nhat Hanh, we use this phrase to understand that even the smallest amount of money can have a far reaching impact. We want to feel empowered, not oppressed, and empowerment can include class and finances.
We function as a small business and we use this engaged economics system in the hope that we can remain responsive to the needs of community while offering affordable, effective healthcare. This means we can only serve those who can afford to be here. It is an uncomfortable and real truth. And we all share a deep desire for these services to be available to everyone, while also working within the system at large.
The visual above was created during a meeting between Susanda and Lamia (and facilitated by Tanya Gerber!) as a way for us to talk about the greater community economic development that is the foundation of Six Degrees. We can start anywhere in the image, but for today, let’s start in the centre at the image of Six Degrees and move counterclockwise along the blue ribbon of Qi flowing through the image.
Our vision is to host a space where people can heal, experience abundance and share their own brilliance and this place with their communities. At Six Degrees we hope people can transform, feel inspired and invest in their own health and the health of their family and communities. We know that everyone deserves this and we believe that the true value of the treatments is in offering health and vitality. Still, we are in a greater economic system and in that system value is expressed through dollars and cents!
We believe in the sliding scale, in this system of engaged economics, and we ask everyone to consider paying as much as they can each time they have a session. We don’t thrive from shame or a sense of feeling less than. So we share knowledge to empower our clients and communities in all their choice’s be it how much will I pay today, to what sweet treat works best for my unique self? We believe each individual has an inherent ability to heal, this healing becomes collective when we start to move with the flow and actively seek help for our ailments.
By learning to receive we begin to give with deep wisdom.
Collective Qi is with us always, we can not escape it, and so it goes that collective health is collective wealth and sustainability. Beyond these more immediate impacts we want Six Degrees to have a ripple effect of empowerment into so many communities, and thats how we reach the mountain top of healing and transforming the world.
Bold statement, right? People need to dream in order to make dreams come true! Truth is we do not do this alone, ever. This is where the images of people come in, representing the many people it takes to actualize justice and healing. We acknowledge this work is happening on Indigenous Land (of the Anishnaabe, Huron-Wendat and Six Nations people) and we are working on building relationships locally to understand the best way this space can be of support in community struggles. We work with communities that teach us and guide us into greater understandings of how and why we need to listen and act with respect and care. We… you, me and everyone all of us know have impact, we have impact every single day. We experience great oppressions, injustices, we can respond with care and concern for ourselves, our loved ones and those whom we have never met.
Engaged economics is alive at Six Degrees, and actually, in every economic act. So, we ask you to be empowered with your wisdom. Ask yourself: “How much can I pay?” each time you come in. Consider supporting the Black Lives Matter Freedom School, The Native Youth Sexual Health Network, Butterfly – Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Support Network, or any other group of people led by community members. Let’s share our wealth, be it one dollar, five dollars or fifty dollars with groups and people that are community driven and we will inspire a world grounded in community and rising together, along an accessible path, to the mountains peak.