In the coaching industry where I received a lot of my training, there was a strongly worded “suggestion” to not do trade work. Often times, trade work leads to discontent, imbalance, and resentment, while fostering an energy of lack, they would say. I never quite understood what they meant because I didn’t resonate with their point of view. For me, trade was a positive experience because I held my trade agreements in the same place I held my paying agreements and I also only entered into agreements that made my heart sing. Honestly, even though money wasn’t exchanging hands, my trade agreements have been some of the most profitable arrangements I have been involved in.
Over the years, though, I have met many people who have gone into trade agreements and have come out on the other end quite battered and angry about the whole ordeal. What I’ve witnessed is coaches, artisans, healers, etc going into trade with another and either one or both of them do not hold the agreement at the same value as if they were paying for their services or products. Suddenly the thought process of, “Well, it’s just so and so and I’m not really making any money off it so it doesn’t matter if I’m late, or don’t show up, or flake out all together.” Suddenly, their trade agreement turns into a reason to be lackadaisical about honoring their commitments.
What then happens is there becomes a void, an actual drain that sucks the energy out of the arrangement. As long as one of the people is out of integrity with the agreement, the imbalance creates a drawing energy that pulls on the other who is still in the agreement. Inevitably, this kind of energy has no other option other than to lead to resentment, anger, frustration, and maybe even utter destruction of a highly valuable relationship.
Trade agreements are like any relationship. For them to work beautifully, it requires continual accountability and clear communication. It also requires a commitment to continually uphold agreements, treating the arrangement as though it is your most important client.
Doing trade work can be highly beneficial, as long as you are clear and your partner is as well. Bartering is how we once did everything and, perhaps one day it will be the form of currency again. Until that time, practicing integrity and impeccable agreements will be of benefit to you in all aspects of your life – even beyond the trade you are involved in.
I always welcome your thoughts, questions, and comments.
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