Tax Day Reflections

written by Bari Tessler April 15, 2013

Dear Community,

Today is a loaded day. It’s Tax Day in the US.

Body Check In: What happens when you read those two teeny little loaded words? Tax Day. Feelings, sensations, reactions? Breathe into Tax Day. Take a peek at what’s there for you.

And: Read on, for some love + support + perspective. 

For some (many), Tax Day holds dread, shame, fear, anxiety. Contraction. Avoidance. Tension, right? 

As student in my Art of Money community recently expressed (with some exploitives edited out): “Who gives us a manual on these things?!”I wish, wish, wish this were taught in schools. Since it’s not (yet), my hope is that these articles and the bigger body of my work can help fill this big, deep need for a “Life-Money Manual” to navigate the internal and external terrain of the Art of Money, and all it touches. 

I think it’s high time to infuse a little love + healing into this day.

I’m holding Tax Day as a ripe opportunity. 

For growth. For healing. For Celebration. For Clarity.

For Empowerment. For Forgiveness.

I think it’s time to take Tax Day, and of course our larger money relationship, out of the cobwebs and shadows of our consciousness. Let’s talk about this. Engage with it. And support each other.

First, a note about our current “Money System”.

It’s so far from perfect, oh my oh my, so far. Some of you may relate to Tax Day in the spirit of rebellion, or a strong stance against the system as it exists and a refusal to participate in its brokenness. If this is you: I hear you.

Personally, I choose to engage with our imperfect system as it is, while working towards creating a better one. I invite you to join me in whatever way, big or small, that feels right to you.

I invite you to seek a space within you, where you can engage in an educated, empowered way — while still allowing yourself to grieve our imperfect system and seek ways to contribute to improving it.
(More on that in another article coming soon…)

Are you with me?
Here, take my hand into a conscious Tax Day, my dear community.

So, how are you and Tax Day doing?

There are so many unique, complex, beautiful, and challenging answers to this question, right here in this community.

  • Some of you filed months or weeks ago, and everything is tidy. Zim, zam.

  • Some of you may not have filed for years, and the thought of back taxes and coming clean is overwhelming, complex, and paralyzing.

  • Some of you may be cramming and number crunching in this moment, getting things in at the very last minute.

  • Some of you may choose to file for an extension for 2012 (yes, there is still time to get everything taken care of in 2013).

  • Some of you may have made more income than ever, and therefore facing more taxes than ever.

  • Some of you may be celebrating a big ole tax return coming your way, and musing on how/if/when you’d like to spend it.

Deep and potent conversations are swirling around the Art of Money community as everyone steps into their money work . . . I’m sharing a few gems below in hopes that you can see yourself in them and know you’re not alone.


Tax Day: What’s Possible Here?

When it comes to taxes (and many other things), I believe this:

Education = Empowerment

Now, I don’t mean we should all become accountants (oh my goodness, please no!). I am speaking about Education in the largest sense — about Self, about your numbers, about your options, about your past story, and about your future story.

Empowering money education is about learning what you can do on your own, (ie: read up on all of the possible tax deductions) and where it is so helpful to find a financial support team who can study this stuff (and the most current tax rules) and relay what you really need to know . . . and ultimately to discover your unique combo of your own personal money education + collaborating with a great team.

Here’s a little menu for what’s possible as we forge a new perspective on Tax Day:

1. Celebration! Don’t forget to celebrate the income you have earned, and thus the taxes you may owe. Here’s a great nugget from one of the Guest Teachers in the Art of Money, Nona Jordan:

“I hope you celebrate that more taxes = higher income = higher impact in the world.” Yes! Oh yes.

2. Forgiveness. Where and who do you need to forgive? Many of us carry big shame around what we haven’t done around taxes. A dose of forgiveness will move you forward.

3. Completions. What needs to get done? What feels doable to take care of? Perhaps it’s time to organize those receipts. Or file for an extension and line up support to get things filed. Or even step into a process of clearing up back taxes owed, so that you can move forward on solid ground.

“Reached out to my tax planner today. Better late than never! Seeking zen instead of overwhelm … I can do this!”

“Embracing the theme of getting current and completion I sat down to spend 2-3 hours working on taxes Sunday. A few hours and several body checks later I am almost done. Happily it wasn’t as bad as I had feared. All that anxiety and dread seems like a waste of energy now that the task is nearly complete. How much energy is spent in fear and avoidance?”

Had the meeting with my wife about Taxes… had to do some breathing to get through it. Still breathing . . .

4. Clarity. Clarity feels good. I love this from one of my Art of Money adventurers:

“It is a relief to have faced those numbers…and I grew to kind of like them by the end of the day long ‘intervention’ I had with myself. No, the bottom line is bleak…but it feels better to to know where I stand then to not.”

5. Learning. We’re always learning, and we need to always be learning. I’m learning for sure. Personally, as my business grows and evolves, so do my taxes. I posted this on facebook last week:

Got my chocolate and candles all ready to go! I am getting ready for a 2 hour tax + planning meeting with our Tax Preparer, who is also a Financial Coach. I am really excited about it. I simply want more clarity about 2012 + 2013 taxes, deductions and Sep IRA amounts. I can remember the other side of not knowing, not looking, not caring from years ago. So, this clarity stuff is so empowering and supportive for all areas of my life.

6. Feeling. Sometimes, the best we can do is simply allow ourselves to feel what’s there. This is progress, don’t doubt that.

There are so many feelings tied up in this for me. The whole process is incredibly frightening to me.

7. Visioning. 2013 Tax Day is a great time to plant seeds for what you’d like to see come 2014 Tax Day. What would you like it to look like? Feel like? What’s a baby step you can take now to help create the pathway to this vision?

Wherever you are, whatever you do . . . I invite you to show up to Tax Day 2013 in a way that moves you forward into love, empowerment, clarity, and peace.

This is a ripe opportunity, yours for the taking.

What’s your next step here?

It could be one deep self-loving breath. It could be a full on overhaul of your tracking system. Or a simple sharing of what’s true for you, to someone you trust.

Or, here’s a big one: It could be a phone call to someone who can help. The moment you take care of yourself and pick up to the phone to call a professional, or ask for referrals for a professional . . . it’s huge.

(Note: do your body check in, light your candle, grab your chocolate . . . whatever you need to do to ground and make that call.) 

Related + Helpful Posts:

You have my full support, 

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