Bring light to your money.
We’ve developed such great understanding of and expansion around food, sexuality, spirituality, and even death — so why does money feel like the last frontier on the road to thriving freedom? Why is it that so many of, dare I say pretty much everyone of us, have a twisted relationship to money?
What if we peeled back the layers of shame, fear, anger, confusion, boredom, and bewilderment? What if we were willing to expand our consciousness into the area of money and pay attention in addition to paying bills? What if we re-told our money story? Well, we can. And gloriously so.
I’m thrilled and honored to be sharing the beautiful voice of Bari Tessler with you today who can help us destroy our money blocks Kali-style and support us in creating a relationship with money we can be proud of.
Meet Bari Tessler, Somatic Financial Therapist.
Bari lives in Boulder, CO. She loves dark chocolate and mochas. She’a a mama-preneur and free spirit who adores bold, warm colors. She dances in the snow. Her glow transpires through the screen. She hikes daily as part of her somatic practice because movement heals. It shakes loose emotions that are lodged in our tissue. No wonder movement lives in e-motion.
I’d like to take this opportunity to draw your attention to Bari’s amazing program, The Art of Money. AOM is a year-long online course that’ll be your companion on the journey toward a healthy relationship to money once and for all. It’s aptly called the Art of Money because this class is alive with veins of gold that reach into the emotional, mental, creative, and somatic realms all the while being firmly rooted in a clear-eyed, structured money practice. And notice the term ‘practice;’ stepping into our power with money isn’t a one-time event, it’s a process. The practice asks you to show up for yourself. Honor yourself. Love yourself. Consistently.
I don’t know about you but I never learned about money in school; I have a PhD but never felt compelled to venture out of my beloved Humanities corner of campus into Business School. Luckily, we grow. And luckily, we now have the tools and wisdom to choose differently. I’m massively inspired by The Art of Money. Dive into the AOM sampler at the end of our interview to get a sense if this format is right for you. The program begins on February 1st and concludes on New Year’s Eve. I love that I get to learn about the ins and outs of money from someone who truly understands and speaks to my creative genius. No dry, grey financial robot here. Bari’s the juiciest, kindest, and most dedicated money expert I know. Her money practice is sacred and playful, and yours can be too. And who knows, you may just fall in love with bookkeeping after working with her. Your money dates await.
Now let’s grab a superfood mocha, sit back, and hear from the gorgeous Bari herself. Here’s to your thriving!
P.S.: Bari’s first book will be published on June 14th! It’s called the Art of Money, naturally. I can’t wait to get my hands on that gem to deepen my practice. Will keep you posted 🙂
1) How do you define gratitude, and what are you grateful for?
For me, gratitude is appreciating and celebrating what is now, what has been, and what will be.
It arises at the crossroads of past, present, and future. It is honoring gifts and lessons from the past, trusting the gifts on their way, and being present to this moment, right here.
For me, gratitude arises when I pause, get present, and celebrate. I invoke the quality of gratitude in my daily life through two main practices:
#1: The Body Check-In. This came directly from my Somatic Psychotherapy training, and has become my absolute favorite tool: for gratitude, for deep money work, and for all of life.
Stop. Pause. Slow down. Bring your attention to your breath. Simply notice the sensations in your body. Simply notice, without judging, the emotions arising in your awareness. Simply notice, with openness and curiosity, the thoughts floating across the screen of your mind. Nothing to change, nowhere to go: simply notice. Breathe. Now: ask yourself if you can add anything to make yourself a tiny bit more comfortable. Could you wag loose your jaw, breathe a little deeper, or relax your shoulder blades?
This practice is deceptively simple. Don’t be fooled: it is utterly life-changing. I do it many times a day: before, during, and after money interactions; when I’m feeling overwhelmed or anxious; or simply when I want to get a little more present and grateful.
#2: My meditative movement practice. For many years, I practiced Authentic Movement (A practice from my Somatic Psychotherapy - Dance Therapy training). Tuning into the wisdom of the body (slow, ancient, raw) has always been healing and clarifying, for me — and always helps me experience more gratitude.
For the past decade or so, my movement practice has been an almost-daily hike up Mount Sanitas in Boulder, Colorado. I bring my questions to my mountain — and always get answers. Here, I get into my body and get present with each step, each breath, each moment. I cultivate trust. I relax into gratitude. My hiking practice helps me weave the energy of appreciation into my daily life.
I am grateful for so much in my life right now. Here are some of the biggies….
My husband and son. They are my foundation.
The new strength that peri-menopause is bringing. (It’s also challenging and testing me!)
Living near nature.
My community: friends, students, colleagues, a business team and my circle of healers.
Our new home: after happily renting for many years, my husband and I just bought our first home! It’s beautiful and cozy and everything we dreamt of.
Being one half of a husband/wife business team. It rocks.
My first book will be published on June 14th of this year! It is a fairy tale dream come true.
2) What is art to you?
Spontaneous moments of dance — like this one with my son at the sand dunes in Colorado.
I grew up doing a lot of Jazz dance. It was my art and creative expression. I found African-based dance classes in my twenties and thirties. (Afro-Brazilian was my favorite). This kind of movement and connection to spirit was life-changing for me.
(When I listen quietly, this is one area of my life I’m missing and craving.)
The outrageous beauty of the natural landscape around me. I’ve begun bringing my iPhone with me on my daily hikes. I love waiting for the right shot, finding the image to capture the day, my relationship to nature, my moving meditation, my shifting emotions, and the tremendous gift of living in this environment.
Truly: one of my biggest artistic expressions is my teaching practice (my dear Art of Money community). I create and teach in an almost “call and response” mode, like jazz music or great storytelling. I created the original curriculum based on my own experience and training, but have spent 15 years incorporating what I see and feel in my community into my teachings. I watch closely how my students and clients interact with the material, notice what works and what doesn’t, and tease out threads and themes that I never would have thought of before. This call-and-response creation with my community is my favorite artistic expression.
When I was 12, I couldn’t decide what I wanted to be when I grew up: a Solid Gold Dancer or a businesswoman. At 16, I asked my parents if I could go to therapy, because I wanted to understand myself better. My Art of Money methodology, I feel, is a combination of all three of these professions: money savvy, body-based wisdom, and deep emotional healing. The very act of combining these fields (with my community’s help!) is my artistry.
3) When did you experience significant personal growth, and how did it impact your perspective on life?
Between the ages of 20 and 25, I lost four of my favorite men to death. Two of my closest uncles died from AIDS, one beloved Israeli boyfriend committed suicide, and one sweet Grandpa passed away in his armchair, listening to his favorite opera.
All of this death was a rite of passage for me. It brought me to my knees and ripped me open. I dove into an intense grieving process and questioned everything. I wasn’t sure I would emerge. But it was during those years that I discovered the tools and practices that would become my new foundation. I danced in my room every night, trying to feel, heal, process, and move my grief through my body. Eventually, I discovered there was an entire field of people teaching and practicing this: Dance Movement Therapy. I enrolled in a Master’s program in Somatic Psychology at Naropa University, in the middle of my bereavement process. Naropa believes we must do our own inner work before we can hold space for others, so I became my own case study and did a crazy amount of deep, inner healing.
When I emerged from this cocoon-crucible space a few years later, I knew myself better than ever, had healed, had grown, and had honed my “superpowers” to a whole new level. I had learned how to grieve. I had learned how to experience terrible pain — and hold space for it. All of this was invaluable training for me as a therapist, a mama, a mentor, and a human.
4) What other gems of joy & wisdom would you like to share with us?
Here’s some of my joy: Giving birth to this child right before my 40th birthday has been an incredible gift for me. I never thought it was my path to have children, but I woke up in my 38th year having simply changed my mind. After some deep work with my dear husband, we knew: it was time. Being a mama has grown and changed me, and my dear Noah means more to me than words can say. I am so grateful to be his mama.
Here’s some of my wisdom:
We can bring creativity, deep meaning, beauty, and love, to everything we do. (Even money.)
Trust your own timing. In money, in life, and in love.
Bari Tessler Linden, MA, is a Financial Therapist, Mentor Coach and Mama-preneur. Bari’s gentle, body-centered approach weaves together personal, couple, and creative entrepreneurial money teachings into one complete tapestry. She is the founder of The Art of Money: a global, year-long money school, which integrates Money Healing, Money Practices and Money Maps. Bari is also the Author of her upcoming book, The Art of Money: A Life-Changing Guide to Financial Happiness, published by Parallax Press on June 14th, 2016.
Learn more about Bari at: BariTessler.com and dive into the AOM sampler here.