with Estephanie Martinez-Alfonzo
Where to begin...
All relationships are a privilege, and I’m honored that you are considering a closer relationship with me as a step towards this vision of a world that we both seek. Healthy relationships require clear boundaries, communication, enthusiastic consent, flexibility, and an honoring of one another’s strengths and gifts.
Towards these goals, I’ve identified a few distinct paths which I might be willing to walk with you. There may be others, and I am open to creative work and different framings, but these paths feel supportive and accessible, and I hope you will consider them. These are not necessarily cumulative, but they do grow exponentially in scale and impact, starting with the smallest; a simple, intentional meeting and introduction which is the basis of all relationships.
I dream of living in a world that centers regenerative economic models rooted in the revaluation of ourselves, each other, and all Beings part of the larger living system that holds us all.
Unfortunately, in our current capitalist system, financial compensation contributes to my overall health and wellness. I hate that. One reason I hate it is because it implies that I can be compensated for the value of what I am sharing, which is informed by my own experience and the experience of my family and ancestors. There is no way to compensate me for what my ancestors suffered at the hands of colonization. There’s no way to fairly compensate me for my family’s cycles of intergenerational trauma, marginalization, and forced relocation from our homeland. There is no amount of money that would make it worth it for me to have inherited the perspectives I share in my work; and my motivations for working towards a balanced world are so much larger and deeper than any financial compensation. So what, exactly, am I asking to be paid for? You can see how this question is challenging.
I think of it in a couple of ways. One is obviously supporting me. If you value me and what I am doing, financial compensation is one way to show that. Another is showing respect for the work itself; tangibly investing in this growth for your organization, your community, yourself and your lineages.
Compensation should be relational. Through this lens, and carrying these dynamics in mind, I invite you to make this process conversational with your team; clarify what you are asking of me, why, what you are offering me, and why that feels balanced and respectful from where you stand. This process for your team is already an investment that your organization is making in our relationship. It’s also an investment for you internally; it asks you to come together and clarify your intentions, values, language and situation. Another aspect of this invitation is that you’re picking up some of the foundational emotional labor involved in us beginning a more balanced relationship, and doing so in a way that inverts historical assumptions of labor responsibilities. Thank you.
Once you’ve put together your budget and proposal, we can then have a conversation that looks at the intersections and themes in our relationship, exploring historical privilege and oppression, and looking at our unique situation with as much nuance as we can, so that we both feel honored and honoring in our contract.
If you feel called to engage in older ways of relating, I welcome courting gifts at the beginning of professional relationships.
The cost of what I offer is calculated based on the income that I need to live the life I want, the budgets of my clients, and the reconciliation of the racial and gendered wealth gaps. financial access and resources, including income, are not and should not be the only determining factor in whether or not people can access offerings that contribute to our well being or growth. In a way, our conversation of financial compensation is part of a long series of interwoven relationships, between your ancestors and mine, between us and the land, between your people and my people, between holistic ways of being and exploitative ways of being.
I would be honored to listen into other offerings, collaborations, and alternative compensation. My interest is in our relationship feeling grounded, honest, and supportive. If you are interested in being in relationship with me, I encourage you to send me a message- introduce yourself!
I look forward to seeing what beautiful pathways you travel and the ways we can all work towards a future of abundance for us all!