I’m writing a book in my nightie, and other updates on family, life, and business.

written by Bari Tessler May 31, 2015

Dear Community:

There is so much going on behind the scenes in business, book creation, and family. I want to share some of these moments with you, and today’s the day!  

You see, I love to document moments through images and photos with my iPhone and then share them on social media. It’s something I really, really enjoy.

So, here’s one of my long (because that’s how I roll) but hopefully inspiring photo logues of what’s been happening over here.

Hope you enjoy!

With love and my dearest wishes,


Book Creation.

I’m starting with the book because it’s one of our biggest missions for this year. We’ve been imagining the book for some time – years, actually.  When we finally took some concrete action, ie: putting together the book proposal, we got a call from a publisher before we even finished it. You can read all about the details of how we chose to go with Parallax Press here.

On February 20th, while the ink was still drying on the book contract, we got our editorial deadline calendar for a Spring 2016 book release.  My co-writer and I promptly fell backward over our chairs.

HOW are we are going to write our classic book in such a short time period?!?!

My co-writer, Angela Raines, and I had been imagining this moment for quite a while. We are a determined team, and we’ve been co-writing together for 4 years. We have so much content already written in articles and the year-long Art of Money program material, and so many audio and video interview series; we thought, somehow, that we would be able to sew all of this content together with ease.

That has not been the case at all.

While the book will have a similar framework to my Art of Money methodology we are re-visioning and creating the book as we go. Of course, we’re incorporating much of the content, stories, and teachings that I’ve shared for years, but writing a book is a completely different animal and process than creating blog posts or program content. I imagine Angela will write more on this journey one day.

We have certainly hit some rough bumps along the road. There have been some freak-outs, some behind the scenes emotional processing, and a ghostwriting contract that had us pulling our hair out. There was a moment where we were unsure if we were going to make it to the signature line.

But we did. And, we have. And, praise the book goddess, we have made it through and the energy is a-flowin again.

As of this moment, we’ve created 9 chapters, met our first editorial deadline, and are on our way to meeting our next deadline on July 4th.

It is truly a one visioning session, one Chapter at a time kind of experience. There’s lots of internal work and growing for all of us.

Here are some recent book creation moments for you.

1. Saturday Morning Book Writing Session:

book writing sessionSaturday morning book session. Usually, I rest on Saturdays. I’m not doing my other work today, but the co-writing process is needing a lot of attention to meet our deadlines. So with my crazy hair, nightie and husband-made mocha, I’m diving in. I just got a new chapter from my co-writer, Angela, on: “It’s not about the money”. We’re really excited about this chapter. I’m adding my notes and the back and forth will continue throughout the day.

2. Auspicious Sighting of Melissa Michaels

Auspicious sighting of Melissa MichaelsI was up all night caring for my boy (who was burning through a fever) but had a co-writing visioning session this morning. I made a quick trip to the cafe for a big mocha and ran into Melissa while she was finishing her BOOK!

Melissa Michaels was on my Masters thesis committee (for Somatic Psychology at Naropa University) 18 years ago and helped me write about: Young Women, Ritual, Rite of Passages and Authentic Movement. She also introduced me to Tamara Slayton (a significant mentor in my life).

Melissa was writing about Tamara and her lineage as I walked in….
We shared some book writing love.
We shared some Tamara love.
We shared some laughter when she learned that I am much older than she thought.
Really perfect and beautiful encounter this morning.

Thank you, Melissa.
And, thank you for letting me document this moment.
It fueled a wonderful co-writing session with Angela Raines.

All in all, we are chipping away at the chapters and holding the big vision of the completed book on the horizon. One step at a time. One step at a time. One step at a time.

Biz: Behind the Scenes

Things started really started to speed up the moment we signed that book deal. Quickly and rather suddenly 2015 revealed itself to us more. We were planning another slow and steady growth year while overseeing our Art of Money: year long money school community.  But 2015 had other plans.

The book contract brought a lot of energy with it and we went full steam ahead into a lot of new projects.

A few months into this, we realized we were heading in the right direction with some of it and the wrong direction with other parts. It was time to take back the steering wheel.

Here’s some of the right direction:

1. We started with a new V.A., Alyssa, a few months ago.

It’s feeling so rock solid and we’re all crazy beyond grateful to have her on our team. She is the bomb.

2. We started with a new Creative Director and Brand/Revenue Strategist, Sara.
This is the first time we have had this level of consulting on our team. She has already given us crystal clear consulting on our brand and is helping us make decisions much quicker than we were on our own.

One of the first things she said to us, after giving us an accurate download on where she sees our brand and where we are heading, was:

“I can’t sign up for anything on your site right now?! What’s up with that?”

I explained to her that we are in the middle of a big transition. Writing the book. Overseeing our Art of Money 2015 community and not opening Art of Money 2016 until later this year. I’m also not seeing private Financial Therapy clients right now because I need to reserve my attention and focus for writing the Art of Money book.

And, Sara was right: There is nothing to sign up for on our site, besides our fabulous 7 day Art of Money mini-course. I said to her,  “I know this is crazy and awkward. We need to change this.”

Sara is helping us cook up new products and mini programs that we will be releasing later this year. We’re looking forward to sharing these with you.

3. My husband, Forest, and I, are feeling more solid together in our business capacities than ever before.

Forest and I are now 22 months into being full on business partners for the Art of Money. While I’ve been creating this over the last 14 years, Forest has certainly had his hands in the Art of Money pot every step along the way, but this is the first time he has been all in (well, except for at least one side project).

My point is this: I am truly feeling us sitting side by side, learning how to run, oversee, and direct the business in a whole new way. I have never felt this clear, strong, or beautiful in our capacity together. We are being asked to oversee things that we have never done before.

It’s exhilarating, challenging, hyperventilation-producing in moments, and we keep rising to the occasion together. I can FEEL our FOUNDATION stronger than ever before.

I know he will have other projects that he will want to be a part of in the coming years, and I am incredibly grateful for this time, for our growing capacity together, and for all that we are creating and producing together. It’s an incredible blessing in my life.

4. Best colleagues in the world. They send me chocolate!

Indulgence ChocolatesI truly have the best colleagues in the world. How do I know this? I get boxes of chocolate sent to me in the mail. This box of goodies arrived in my mail recently. I am still thinking about these chocolates (they were really special) and will have to order from this Milwaukee, WI chocolate shop called Indulgence. It was sent by the one and only, Theresa Reed of The Tarot Lady. We had just finished a couple interview with her, so she sent over this gift.

P.S. I get tarot readings from Theresa every few months over the phone for my biz. Every single one is extremely clarifying. Highly recommended.

Some of the Challenges – AKA, the wrong direction

5 contracts in one week.
We found ourselves needing to review, negotiate, and complete 5 contracts…in one week! That was a first and it was a bit much. We did learn A LOT about contracts, and we came through all of them with shining colors. But by the end of the week we were asking for no more contracts please for a long while.

New website?!
We’ve been wanting and needing a new site for a while. Forest created our current one in 2012 (with no designer experience) as a gift for our anniversary. I have loved it and I’m ready for a new level of design.

While contemplating new web design, we’ve also been updating the design our home over the last year.  Our intention is “growing up” and “creating more simple and clean beauty” in our home and office spaces.

Here’s a view of what we have been doing in that regard:

My office space, which I adore.

office spaceThere is a lot of Mati Rose art on my office shelves which makes me SO happy. Plus the white shelves and reclaimed wood white desk with the pops of vibrant color make me swoon.

And, that’s my beloved kitty boy, Finn, before he disappeared. Isn’t he beautiful? We believe he either got eaten by a coyote or walked off to die. This happened 2 months ago, and after a very heart-breaking week, (where we searched for him day and night and cried our hearts out) we moved through a full grieving process. We got Finn as a kitten and had an incredible 12 years with him that we will cherish forever.

Our simple living room/dining room space.

10998005_10206204959984228_425519459839791562_nThe design aesthetic in our home is the same one we want to bring to our new website.  Simple, clean, elegant with pops of vibrant color! We want both of them to exude who we are and what matters to us.

And so, we sat down with the 5 contracts in front of us and were about to add a designer/coder team to get a new site all ready for pre-orders of the book this Fall and for early bird AOM 2016 registration in November….

When we realized: we are already in a huge creative process with the book and all of the details and planning it requires. We cannot add any more right now.  We grabbed the steering wheel and decided to hit pause on the website project. It really was the right decision and a huge relief.

We realized that we added too many things to the front burner. Doing all of those projects at the same time was actually making us feel crazy (not the good kind of crazy). So we adjusted the timing on some of them so we can do them all, but not all at once. We’re taking things at a more sane and enjoyable pacing so that we can truly honor the primary goal for this year – THE BOOK – which is how all of this was set in motion in the first place. YES THAT!

Our team WILL BE creating an interim site for the Fall to honor some of the new design we are ready for. Through this whole process – re-designing our home, bringing in Sara as our creative director, and postponing our new website – we have gotten so much clearer on the direction of our next design.

To wrap up the biz horizon: we have some wonderful new products/mini programs coming out later this year. Pre-orders for the BOOK begin in the Fall. Registration for Art of Money: our year long money school begins in November. Stay tuned!

Family. Moments I am grateful for.

1. More husband/wife hiking together. Yes please!

HikeWhen we first came together 14 years ago, we would hike almost daily together. And, then my husband got all athlete on me and now rides his road bike up the mountains daily. But lately, he has been joining me on some hikes when we have date night. In this photo, he took me up the steep side of the mountain and we made it to the top. I love this so much.

2. Story Telling mornings.

Noah StoriesMorning stories at the side of our bed. I’m still half asleep, trying to sleep in. Hubby’s getting him ready for school. And my boy has lots to tell me this morning. So I’m listening. About Mexico. Dry cow udders. Passed down through generations…for making guacamole. And, how yesterday was his favorite day at school, EVER. Such a blessed way to wake up.

3. Mother’s Day.

988536_10206273983829781_3473192772792544980_nI  know this day brings up so much for so many of us. I honor the beauty and the pain of all that Mama is and isn’t. I honor that there is so much lineage to sort through in all directions.

I honor the gift, the challenge & the honor of being a mama. And, the gratitude I feel for this one sweet + rascally boy who calls me “MAMA”, daily. Who is mine and not mine. Who I grew inside of me and gratefully had help getting him outside of me. Who is growing daily and yet still so young.

And, so, to hear this one call me MAMA, MAMA, MAMA is a gift and a challenge and an honor of a lifetime.

4. Old School Doctors who integrate Western and Eastern practices.

10552357_10206385439056092_2609913736497325385_nI’m wanting to document more real moments lately and this was one of them.
Ugh that look on my boy’s face 🙁

Noah’s had some rounds of fever lately that I believe are developmental growth periods. Noah is finishing up 1st grade and moving towards his 7th birthday which he will turn this summer.

In this photo, Noah is having a doctor’s visit during his last round of fevers. Dr. Nick Nossmann is a 70 year old Western trained doctor who then got trained in Homeopathy and integrates both. We are very grateful for this old school doctor who sees patients in his home. His care is really wonderful for noah.

5. Dressing up for a Mad Men Gala

Mad MenWe’re not typically known for dressing up or watching Mad Men. (We’ve never seen an episode because we already have our own favorite shows…I love Orphan Black and Forest loves Game of Thrones). But something came over us and we had so much fun dressing up and attending our son’s Montessori School Gala party. I think we pulled off the Mad Men look pretty well.

6. The Earthship in Taos, New Mexico.

earthship noah walking

This moment was taken 2 years ago during our first trip the Earthships in Taos, New Mexico. This is the greenhouse hallway of the Earthship. Isn’t it gorgeous?

I’m writing you now from our beloved Earthship in Taos (we don’t own this house, but it sure feels like it in our hearts.) This will be our 5th trip to this place over the last 2 years. It’s still our big vision to build one of these. We’ve considered buying one in Taos, but we keep being more drawn towards building one in Boulder, CO.

This is one of those living dreams and big dreams that fits in our Ultimate lifestyle category. We’ve been feeding this dream for the last two years. Sometimes it feels closer. Sometimes further away. Lately there have been some new pieces presented to us that are making it feel  closer than ever before. Stay tuned on this big dream…

And, lastly a little coveted alone time.  

Oh how I need this. I love being connected in community and I equally crave solitude,  nature, and dance time like nobody’s business.

Here are two of my anchors for self-care. Two of the big ways I rest, rejuvenate and charge up behind the scenes.

1. Daily Hike Love.

Daily Hike Love
I usually hike 5-6 days each week, unless one of my favorite dance teachers is in town, which doesn’t happen that often any longer. So these daily hikes in nature are my everything. This moment was a “Quickie morning, throw clothes on, half asleep, mountain hike, to get my blood moving and my mind clear!!

2. Dance.

In this moment, I had just danced with Rosangela Silvestre for 3+ hours and a whole room of dancers all shapes, sizes, colors and ages. Even though I love my daily hikes, I can hear myself saying “I’d rather be dancing” often in my head. 

Rosangela teaches Orixa dance and movement, (Orixa’s are spirits that are different representations of god/goddesses) and come from Afro-Brazilian, Afro Cuban and Afro Haitian cultures. It’s my favorite dance in the world.

I have been dreaming about dancing with Rosangela. I used to dance with her often when there was a bigger Boulder dance community and dance teachers would travel here a few times a year.

So, when I heard that she was in Boulder, I was so happy. And, I am SO BLISSED out from dancing that this is me (goofy/ecstatic/crazily happy) after Orixa dancing, with my favorite Afro-Brazilian dance teacher, blissed out SMILE.  

That covers some of the highlights of all that is happening behind the scenes right now.  

Life can happen so fast sometimes.  I’m learning that when you feel that coming it’s so important to stay in the drivers’ seat.  Stay in touch with yourself, your heart, and your body. Take time to step back and look at the whole picture so that you can make wise and informed decisions that take everything into account.  Be willing to push pause and say no.  Clear boundaries are a must. Take breaks, ask for help, follow your pace and timing…and no one else’s.  

I am honored to share this journey with you, and I’m incredibly grateful that you are a part of my community.

With blessings,


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