I had a wonderful time meeting Lilou Mace on a recent trip to Japan and feel blessed to have been interviewed by her. Due to the time constraint of the interview, I was only able to talk briefly about my story and wasn’t able to go into much depth. I noticed a few individuals who watched the video seem to have misunderstood my story and as a result some questions and doubts have arisen. I am grateful to everyone who made a comment. I appreciate the opportunity to answer some of the questions raised, and to give a little more detail here. I was only able to write 500 characters on the YouTube comment section, so rather than reply with yet another constrained story, I thought I would write it here.

It may be my inability to express myself well enough in English that perhaps gave an impression that I lost all my money and still don’t have any money now. What I said in the interview is that I had lost all my money in 2009, but made some back after that. I’m not saying that we are living without money now. We had jobs and a mortgage after experiencing rock bottom and then we decided to quit everything last year, voluntarily, before we lose it all again in the process of simply making ends meet. We lived in a small apartment which we were luckily able to sell last year. With the little money we made from the sale of our apartment (which most people would probably think is not enough to do what we are doing), we decided to stop contributing to the system and just take some time to travel – fearlessly without thinking about what we are going to do if the money runs out, to simply live life on a day-to-day basis and document it.

I agree it is extremely difficult to live without money because we are currently living in the framework of capitalism. We experienced the hardship when we lost everything in 2009 – our jobs, our home (we couldn’t make rent), and our money. However, there are examples of people who are living totally without money and are thriving, and if you’re interested to know how to live with absolutely no money, please check out “moneyless.info” where ten individuals who are currently living completely moneyless lives are featured. You will find their stories there and perhaps some answers on how to do it.

The point that I wanted to convey in the interview is that I stopped focusing on the fear of lack of money or loss of it, but rather I began focusing on trusting in the universe and in humanity and the abundance that the universe is offering when you let go of the fear, pride and ego. This is my personal experience, but it seems to be shared amongst others who went through a similar shift as I did.

When we lost our money, for me, what I feared most was not so much about not having money, but about losing face to our families and friends. My pride and ego prevented me from being humble and graciously accepting help from people around me. At the time it was hard, but I swallowed my pride and asked for help when I really needed it. But when I let go of my ego, I felt so much lighter. To me that was the rock bottom at every level. I no longer had to carry the heavy weight of the external pressure and fear of losing any more. It changed my relationship with money and I no longer had fear of losing money. At the same time, I also lost material attachment. When we sold our apartment, we gave away almost all our material possessions (we only have 3 suitcases of belongings now). When you have so few things, you have less fear of loss, too. In our society, many of us have too much to lose. When I saw the 3.11 earthquake and tsunami swept away houses, people and pets in an instant, it really made me realize how life is short and fragile. That’s when I decided that I do not want to spend the rest of my life just to make ends meet, but to live authentically and focus on creating a better world outside of the current economic system, where people can thrive, without the use of fiat money, based on completely different principles from today’s society. Our society is based on fear, scarcity, competition, and control. But I believe it is possible for us to build a society based on principles such as trust, abundance, cooperation, harmony and freedom. There are now pockets of communities all over the world that exemplify it, and we introduce them so those in doubt can catch a glimpse of the possibility. A global shift might not be instant, but I trust our ability as a species to overcome the current system that holds humanity down, and evolve to the next level.

It is my sincere hope that my experience would serve positively in any way to anyone who is going through a similar situation to what I went through or with whom my story and all those featured on my blog resonate. That is the intention of ‘Gratis Basis’. This is the story of my family, and it continues, just like Lilou’s life did after she lost her job and money. We aren’t the only ones. There are many other untold stories and that is why we do what we do – to get our stories and those of others out, in a positive light, to encourage others who may be feeling trapped in the current system. To show that there are ways of living outside of the box.