“ Flow It Forward” is the compass for the New Mexico Leaders in Mindfulness Conference. It is no strings attached unconditional generosity offered in different forms to support the success of our community through the success of the Conference.
It is about mindfulness as value and our relationship to giving and receiving. From this lens, we work with different forms of currency. While there are indeed fixed financial costs for the conference that need to be covered, there are also other ways you may want to support its success.
A DIFFERENT WAY
This year the organization and design of the conference is an even bigger experiment in co-creating a new story about mindfulness in our community. How do we transition between stories for transformational change? One way is to operate even more than ever from principles of generosity, collaboration, and engagement. Relationships and community that honor a more inclusive economy and human society become our capital. The bigger vision is to move closer to eventually offer many ways to "pay" for the NM Leaders in Mindfulness Conferences.
Not yet though. It is going to take more than good wishes for this experiment to happen.
For the past 2 years, the conference has been primarily self-financed. Last year, the organizer was unable to cover costs and lost money and in so doing put future conferences in jeopardy. This year it is essential to cover all of the costs to ensure that the event can happen again. One way is for us to be transparent about the expenses so as to lean more fully into the foundations of mindfulness and into living an economic model that values the transactions of trust and relationships.
PUTTING MINDFUL PRINCIPLES INTO ACTION
Here are some ways that we are putting these principles into action around the 2017 conference. We’ll be adding to this list as the conference design unrolls and as Flow It Forward partnerships expand .
Supporting Conscious Business Models
In spite of originally making a deposit to hold the event again this year at the Tamaya Resort , as conversations happened around intentions and focus of the 2017 conference, it became increasingly clear that the traditional business model operated at hotels presented too many restrictions for what we are trying to accomplish.
At the same time, seeking an event space with a retreat-like atmosphere that accommodates almost 200 people in metro Albuquerque is a challenge, even though we know that mindfulness can happen anywhere. We found a working farm located in the middle of Albuquerque, where participants can bus or bike in – some activities will take place in the barn, but we’ll also set up tents in the corral area and other spaces located around the farm for connections with nature , sustainability, abundance.
Partnering with one of our community not for profit agencies, we were able to get a discount on rental of the farm.
Contract stipulations with a hotel require that we have to use hotel catering services– thereby placing limitations on our use of outside vendors or possible food donations and mean passing event costs on to attendees.
At our event location this year, attendees can bring their own food and accommodate any personal dietary and health needs.
Food Karma, a not for profit cafe, serves meals in the spirit of gift. There are no prices on the menu. You contribute from the heart and pay for the meal “as you feel” - and in doing so create a chain of generosity, respect, trust and kindness.
With the exception of one part-time paid COORDINATOR, everyone else helping to organize the conference has gifted their time and expertise to making the conference happen.
Local wisdom and resources
Our guides and catalysts throughout the event are New Mexican change makers who, in their vision for a better world ,bring mindfulness to many different groups of New Mexicans: foster children, seniors, business leaders, employees, HIV patients, educators, students , inmates, attorneys , and others.
You won’t see sponsor banners on the walls or “traditional” event “goodie bags,” promotional t-shirts, pens or other items being handed out by vendors. Schwag takes on a completely different form at the Mindfulness in Movement Conference. You'll have the opportunity to offer your fellow attendees relationship building schwag beyond the conventional ways of doing so.
Our goal is to model for and educate participants that our relationship to the planet is a reflection of our relationship with ourselves. What better day to do it than on April 22 Earth Day.
There are costs involved in making a Conference happen. In spite of discounted rates on many of these items, we were not able to cover the following through service, time or other non-financial transactions.