When politics hits us in the heart: you, me, and the Art of Money program.

written by Bari Tessler February 9, 2017

Dear Community,

The last thing you need is yet another reminder of how crazy the world is, right now. I know, I know.


Deep breath.


But I do want to speak aloud what’s been happening behind-the-scenes over here. To share how I’ve been working with my business and mission — within this turmoil.

Because there’s power in transparency. And because I think — I hope, I hope — hearing this will support and soothe you. (And, yes: your money relationship, too.)

Everyone I know has been deeply affected by the political and economic turbulence of the past month.

Many of us here in the U.S. are being shocked awake. It’s an unprecedented time in our country. It’s rocking our world.

Many of you in my dear community are scared, angry, or overwhelmed — if not for your own sake, for the sake of those you love.

I’m turning more and more to somatic practices to keep myself sane and grounded.

I have to limit how much news I take in, and how frequently, so my nervous system doesn’t get overloaded.

Taking breaks in nature, snuggling with my family, and attending synagogue for prayer and learning have all felt essential to me at this time.

I’m rooting into community and traditions. And I’m expanding into greater awareness and action. I need both, right now. And I imagine you do, too.

This moment is reminding me of times when we’ve had fires and floods in our little mountain town of Boulder, Colorado. The community mobilizes, goes into triage mode.

We drop everything to attend to the emergency of the moment — and it requires all of our focus and energy.

During those natural disasters, my dear husband goes naturally into research-and-report mode. He posts the news on Facebook, all day and evening long. I’m so grateful for this role he plays during those times.

And I’m so grateful for the folks in my online community who are doing this with what feels like a national disaster for many of us: they’re reporting day and night on what’s happening in our government. My nervous system is just too sensitive to do this — and I also feel I have a different role to live into.


Which brings me to The Art of Money, my mission in the world, and this crazy timing.


As you may know, the main focus of my work-in-the-world, The Art of Money, just started its year-long journey a few days ago. And the timing couldn’t have been crazier.

We always have our registration period in January — but this year, that put us smack-dab in the middle of extreme political and economic unrest.

People are — 100% understandably — focused elsewhere. They’re looking outward, not inward. They’re thinking about national economics, not personal finances. They’re thinking about survival — not personal expansion.

Don’t get me wrong: we have an incredible group of participants signed up, from all over the world. We currently have 423 participants, from all over the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Finland, Netherlands, Germany, France, Portugal, Austria, Ireland, Mexico, Panama, Chile, Lebanon, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.

And we’ve had more people sign up this year than ever before. But not by much.

After the huge exposure and energy of publishing my book last year, going on a book tour, and enjoying unprecedented early registration results last fall (which we purposely did before the election happened), everyone on my team expected (and hoped) our registration would soar ahead this year. Instead, we’re only slightly ahead of the participants we welcomed, last year.

Why does this matter? Because running the Art of Money program isn’t just about reaching our signup goals. Sure, that’s part of it — because Forest and I have to care for our little family, our Art of Money team, and want to thrive, doing work we love and believe in.

But there’s so much more at stake, here. A larger mission.

I’m trying to reach as many people as possible with my work. With the message: you CAN wake up, in your relationship with money … and doing this deep work can help you feel more safe, empowered, and connected than ever.

Not just in your money relationship — but rippling out into so many other areas of your life.

I briefly considered pausing our Art of Money registration — or even pausing the whole program. That’s how extreme and urgent our current situation felt to me.

But then I thought of all the other people whose work I respect — my son’s teachers, our healers and therapists, our musicians and artists — and I noticed that they’re still showing up, every single day, and doing their work in the world.

I’m inspired by their strength. And I know this Art of Money work is one of the biggest ways I can serve the world.

So, I’m continuing to show up. I’m reminding myself: this isn’t a sprint … it’s a marathon.

The Art of Money is ON. And it’s full of the big, exciting energy of welcoming everyone into the program right now.


We officially began The Art of Money a few days ago, on February 1st. But you can still join us.


We won’t begin another Art of Money journey until our 2018 registration, which is many, many moons away. So I want to make sure everyone who wants to focus on their financial peace of mind this year has time to join us.

This is actually something we do every year: we still let people trickle in, past the start date. It’s one way I’ve found to take the high-pressure out of our sales and marketing.

Having a “soft close” like this helps support more relaxed, mindful decisions around investing in this program — and that’s hugely important, to me.

But it feels more important than ever, this year, to continue welcoming people into this program after it officially begins.


If you wanted to join us for The Art of Money, but it slipped your mind amidst all the turmoil of the past few weeks — please feel free to take another look and see if it’s calling to you this year.


Our big, first kickoff call — where I welcome everyone to the community and share the first live teachings — is happening February 16th.


And … to support members of the Art of Money program through this turbulent time, I’m adding guest teachers and additional modules this year.


I always add surprise teachings to The Art of Money, based on what the community needs and asks for, throughout the year. But given the intensity of our political situation, I’ll be more focused than ever on bringing new teachers and perspectives into the program this year, to support our community.

For example, I’m lining up a health insurance expert to answer Art of Money member questions on that topic … and have already begun working with a firestarter of a woman on intersectionality issues and money, to help us speak about race, privilege, feminism, and oppression — and how this shows up in our financial lives.

The very best practices I know (and use in my own life) to feel more safe and secure are somatic, body-based practices. I’m so proud of how we incorporate these into The Art of Money, and so grateful for the additional support our Guest Teachers and TA’s offer in this realm.

Because these tools are so helpful in times like the ones we’re facing now, we will likely add a whole new module around safety and security this year.

Dear one, I’ll close with this …


Sometimes, simply naming what’s happening is a powerful healing step.


Whatever you’re feeling, right now — overwhelmed, scared, grieving, jubilant, excited, topsy-turvy, silly, distracted, or angry — simply name it. Let yourself relax into it.

Come home to yourself, first. And then go out into the world.

May all beings be healthy and happy. May all beings be loved and well-fed. May all beings feel safe, strong, and peaceful. Including us.


P.S. Thank you, from the bottom of my toes, for being a part of my community. Please know how grateful I am for you … and that I hold you in my heart, each day.

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